Tuesday 23 April 2019

Are you buying a new or second-hand car? Ask our experts


Volvo XC40
Volvo XC40

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

We have a 142 Dacia Duster 1.5 dCi (40,000kms) and an 04 Renault Megane 1.5 dCi (180,000 miles). Obviously the Megane is now worthless. Unsure whether to trade in Duster and Megane or maybe just Megane if I got a scrappage scheme. Both cars do low mileage: approx 40km daily.

We have three young children. We were thinking of getting a seven-seater and then maybe a small one-litre car for second, for low tax/insurance etc. Would think the Duster now is worth around €10k and then max budget of another €20k for family car such as the Skoda Kodiaq, but unsure I can afford it. What year?

If I hold on to the Duster now, I will lose nearly all its trade-in value over next couple of years. I usually hold a new car for five years. But this year, I need to change the second car, too, as have it for 13 years and is starting to cause some trouble. What ideas/suggestions would you have?

Gillian: The Skoda Kodiaq seven-seater is only out since January 2017, so a 171 is out of budget; currently selling for €30k-plus. A more affordable model would be a 172 Peugeot 5008 1.2 petrol. These go for around €25k, so will have to eat into whatever you get for the Dacia, which would encroach on your small-car budget. But for €5k or so, you can pick up something suitable for a family of five like a 12-reg Nissan Note 1.4 or 11 Kia Rio 1.4. You are better off keeping the Duster if still happy with it as it starts so cheap when new it loses little year on year. I'd trade up the Megane for a €20k seven-seater, such as the Nissan X-Trail 1.6 dsl, where you will get into a 151 SV spec for the money. Another option is the Kia Sorento, but it has a 2.2 engine. You could also opt for an MPV with the SEAT Alhambra or Ford Galaxy, but I'd prefer the X-Trail styling.

Eddie: Hold the Duster; it won't lose that much value and it really has small mileage. Get rid of the Megane and buy a Ford S-Max people carrier. I think it's smart, compact and will do the business for you, especially as there are a few around and people carriers are not popular any more.


Please help me with a decision for a new SUV. I have shortlisted the XC40 and RAV4, but am open to options. Also, between the two of them, will there be a huge difference in the resale value after three years? Budget of around €45,000. Annual mileage 12,000km. Present car is a Skoda Fabia 161 petrol with 26,000kms.

Gillian: The XC40 is nice to look at and drive. There will always be Volvo followers so, if you mind it well, there will be no concerns over resale value. The one to buy is the T3 R-Design at €42,300 or the lower spec T4 Momentum, which comes with higher bhp and automatic as standard (€44,550).

The RAV4 Hybrid is a good choice and priced a fair bit lower than the Volvo (€35,900 for the Aura). You will save on running costs and I would have no concerns on this either about selling on in a few years time. Most families look for hybrid SUVs these days and they are getting more and more popular.

There is a good deal of difference in the body shapes of these cars. The XC40 is a small SUV; other options here are the BMW X1 or Audi Q2, but I prefer the XC40. The RAV is larger and competes with the likes of the Honda CR-V, and on this one, I am 50/50. I really like both so maybe take them both for a spin.

Eddie: Toyota RAV4 hybrid for budget, room, reliability, quality materials and trade-in values. Oh! and it is a hybrid.


I have a 2007 SEAT Leon 1.6 petrol. I've recently been told the steering rack is going and that there's no point in repairing it and that I'm better off buying a newer car. I travel an awful lot and I would like to upgrade to something diesel and preferably more sturdy on the road.

My budget is a mere €5,000, but I'm wondering what my best options would be? Could I trade in the SEAT for something a bit newer and what make would best suit my needs?

Gillian: For €5,000, you don't want to buy trouble, so for a reliable, sturdy diesel, I would suggest opting for a saloon. They are great value for money. A lot of people buying these over the past few years were really petrol drivers buying diesel so, for you, I would suggest you look for a well-minded, low-mileage model.

Some options include Opel Insignia, Toyota Avensis and Citroen C5. A 2010 in the Opel and Citroen should be possible, while the Avensis will mean going back to a 2009, which is still a two-year jump up from your Leon and into a bigger machine, which isn't bad for the budget.

The Citroen might not be a top choice for you, but they do come well specced and have a smaller engine than the other two, being a 1.6 rather than 2.0. You couldstick with a smaller hatch and go for a newer Leon or a good old reliable Corolla, but at your budget range, these models cost more than larger saloons and might not offer you the same value for money.

Eddie: Great choices. Two others worth thinking about, though you'd have to go back the years, would be the Mazda6 diesel (great car) and the smaller Honda Civic 1.6-diesel. I'm suggesting them on grounds of reliability. I'd try hard to get one with decent mileage. Whatever you do, make sure the car has an unbroken service history. Vital in this budget region.


I am a 31-year-old man. In the last year, due to a change in job, I have had a big cut in my annual mileage. I am driving a 07 Ford Focus 1.8 diesel with about 370,000km (mostly motorway). I am doing about 2,000km a month. I have a budget of approx €13,000 with no trade-in as I don't think it's worth anything.

Also we are expecting our first child. I don't want to go smaller than the Ford Focus, but after that, I don't have a clue what I want and especially whether to go petrol or diesel. Please help.

Gillian: With that mileage reading, your current car isn't going to sell for any amount worth mentioning. But €13k can buy you a lot of car and a saloon/family hatchback might be where the best value lies.

So how about we start with the Ford Mondeo. You have a choice of a smaller 1.6 diesel or larger 2.0 engine in this one. You should fit into a 151 in either engine size in the Zetec spec; if could find a Titanium, even better, but do watch the km reading as some can be high. As a guide, a 151 should have around 90,000kms.

The Skoda Superb and VW Passat are good buys as they are now at an affordable price for most starter families. You will need to go back to 2014 plate, but again, you have the option of a 1.6 or 2.0 diesel engine. I would suggest you stick to diesel as 24,000kms is a little out of petrol territory.

If you wanted to go for Focus size, I would, and have often recommended, the SEAT Leon. I would have the Focus close behind it and Kia cee'd/Hyundai i30.

Eddie: Buy another Focus. You've got great service from your current one, so stick with what you know. You will get a good fresh car for €13,000. Stay with diesel, too. And there is enough room for now for a baby on board.


I am planning to change and trying to decide between an SUV - Audi Q5 vs Range Rover Evoque/Discovery vs DS7 and a saloon - Volvo, Audi, VW. What are your thoughts on your go-to favourite models and best choices for 2019? My budget is €45,000-€50,000k straight deal.

I run my own business and do 25k-30k miles a year, so considering buying personally on a PCP and charging mileage to the company. I would like to go hybrid or electric, but concerned about practicality. I have no kids, so I'm looking for comfort, style, power and technology. I'm currently driving a 161 Hyundai Tucson 4WD auto.

Gillian and Eddie: You mention you would like to go electric, but didn't mention mileage, so you should speak with a Hyundai dealer to make sure your daily commute is possible with the new electric Kona EV.

Why? Because you own your own company ,there would be 0pc BIK. The Kona EV starts from around €40k, has fast charge options, a range of 415km in real-world driving in Ireland (as trialled by Motors) and manages 0-100km in under 8 seconds. Think about it.

Back to your SUV suggestions. We'd skip the DS for now. A new Audi Q5 starts at €51,950, so pushing out of budget a little, but it is worth it? It seems a tad big for someone with no children to bring around, so the Evoque might do the job.

It is by no means small, but would be similar to the Tucson and the body style is a big seller. There's a new one coming quite soon. But do explore the Kona. It has real potential for you.

Help us help you

WE love getting your enquiries and try to reply to as many as possible here or via email. The ones dealt with here often represent a cross section of individual questions. You can help us help you with our free, independent, advice by including the following in your queries:

* Budget (including trade-in).

* Annual mileage (in kms).

* Size of car required (number of seats).

* Present car (make, model, year and mileage) if relevant.


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