Car-value expert Gillian Keogh teams up with Motoring Editor Eddie Cunningham to help you make the right choice with your next purchase. Gillian is Editor of a monthly guidebook on the values of used cars produced by the Motor Trade Publishers team. The team supplies a car-valuing service to the motor trade, insurance companies and finance houses.
Q I have a 182 Hyundai Santa Fe 4WD Executive Plus (43,000km). It's a lovely SUV to drive and comfortable but we are finding it very expensive to run, which unfortunately we didn't account for when purchasing. We were considering trading it in for something more economical.
I drive around 35,000km a year on, mainly, secondary roads, so I need a good reliable car. While I don't need seven seats, I do need the space and would like to stay in an SUV rather than go back to a car as I have small children and a bad back. Budget is around €35,000-€40,000.
Gillian: The Santa Fe is a big machine and as seven-seater SUVs go, it is one of the best but it does have a large 2.2-litre diesel engine and being so big and heavy, it can't be as economical as you would like.
You will be taking a big hit disposing of a 182 model so early in 2020.
Just be sure you absolutely have to take such a big hit. If you held onto it for another 12 months, it might make more sense financially, even with the higher current running costs.
But if it's bugging you and causing stress I would look for something with a smaller engine like the Skoda Kodiaq, which comes as a five-seater or seven-seater.
The CO2 figures across the range are lower than of the Santa Fe and so annual road tax will be cheaper.
The diesel engine is a 2-litre. For a smaller engine again, but with plenty of pull, a Peugeot 5008 is a different shape but an SUV nonetheless.
The 1.5 diesel engine will reduce annual road tax again but it doesn't come as a 4WD if you need it. The Kodiaq does.
Eddie: I hate to think of you having to sell; it has been a bitter lesson for us and, by extension, the rest of us, about over-stretching.
But if you have to you have to, so I think the Kodiaq would fit the bill best for you, all things considered.
Q Your stories, Eddie, about the claims of what a hybrid can do and can't do have me and my family worried about our next new car.
We drive a four-year-old Ford Focus diesel and we were going to buy a Toyota Corolla hatchback hybrid. Our two children are young (four and six) so space isn't an issue. I use the car to get to work 30km away (my husband has a company car). But I visit an elderly relation up the country once a fortnight and that is a 250km round trip.
Would I be better off staying with a diesel? Or should I buy a hybrid?
Gillian: Don't stress about a hybrid. With the information you have given, your typical annual driving is around 22,000km and even if it turns out to be more, it's no issue.
There is of course a point at which a diesel makes more sense, but the Corolla hybrid is a good choice for you.
Eddie: It's borderline between hybrid and diesel. I think you will be covering a fair bit more as the young ones grow and you have to take them to events and journeys. I think I'll say go Skoda Octavia.
Q I have €40,000, including the trade-in of a 10-year-old Golf diesel (150,000kms), to buy a new car. I want it to be electric as my travelling days are over as I settle into married bliss.
My wife has her own car, so I only need transport to get me to work - 50km round trip - and to Dublin every month, or so, on business. I'd like something stylish. What would you recommend?
Gillian: Electric and stylish is going to be difficult, unless you are going for a Tesla, which sadly you won't get for your budget.
The Hyundai Kona is the best choice for the money, but it is not what I would call a stylish SUV.
The Ioniq, in my opinion, is better looking if you don't want an SUV though it doesn't have as big a range between charges as the Kona.
The higher specced Premium model costs €34,850 after grants so would leave you a good bit of change in the budget.
Eddie: I think you'd like the Kona, for sure, but also look at the KIA eNiro and, if you want something young and funky, do drive the KIA e-SOUL and see how you feel. I think you might fall for the latter.
Q My daughter and I share our diesel Octavia but we are concerned that with 160,000km on the clock after eight years that we need to change.
She has a good job now and can afford her own but I can only afford €10,000 plus the trade-in value.
What should she buy? She has a €15,000 budget. And what should I buy?
Gillian: You don't need to change. The km reading is in line with what an eight-year-old diesel should have.
Around 150,000km would be the average and with only one driver on it going forward, perhaps one of you should keep it.
The Octavia is a fine car; it rarely has issues and will run on for many more years to come once it's well minded.
Now I most certainly couldn't hold onto a car for that long so why not change?
You both have a similar budget so my suggestions should suit both of you.
A sensible option is a Toyota Auris hybrid as it is most likely to hold its value well.
A trendy option is Kia Ceed or Hyundai i30.
An SUV option (if you want to jump on the bandwagon) is a Nissan Qashqai for its value for money and the option of petrol or diesel.
Eddie: I'd trade the Octavia for a newer one straight away. A brand new one is due in July by the way, so let your dealer know you know because you might get to bargain a little.
I'd look at a well-minded Volkswagen Golf - probably petrol considering the mileage - for your daughter.
Q I retired two years ago and find I have little use for my six-year-old Mercedes C-Class (75,000km) diesel. I would like to dispose of the car as I am surrounded by public transport and can avail of it freely.
Also, I live near my son and daughter and will never be stuck for a lift in an emergency as I see them most days. What should I do?
I don't need a car but I would like to get as much as I can for it.
Gillian: It sounds to me like you don't want a car and that you don't need one either.
Sell the C-Class but make sure to be sitting down when you hear how much your six years of driving has cost you (see Eddie below).
Then spend more time with family during lifts and avail of the free public transport.
After all your years of paying taxes, it's time to enjoy the benefits.
If you find the need for a car every now and then, look into "pay as you go" driving services that allow you to rent a car from as little as €9 per hour.
Eddie: Advertise it on any of the well-known outlets - including the Irish Independent - and be prepared for a lot of calls.
Have one of your family with you when anyone is coming for a test drive. And have all your documents to show - service history etc -as they instil confidence.
We reckon, depending on the model, that you paid around €45,000 in 2014.
A 141-reg right now is worth around €17,000/€18,000 from a main dealer so as a private sale you are looking at maybe €15,000.