Are you buying a new or second-hand car? Ask our experts
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
I drive a 151 Peugeot 5008 with 110,000km. I do 30,000km each year - the majority of which would be shortish journeys: school runs, matches, activities etc. We have three children aged from 10 to 5. We are looking to change to a 17-reg or 18-reg car.
Our Peugeot is just out of warranty and things are starting to go wrong. We don't really need a 7-seater - it's handy but not necessary. One child is in a high-back booster, the other two on booster cushions.
We are thinking of a Hyundai Tucson. Would you recommend this for our needs?
Are there any other cars that you think we should consider? Our budget is around €15k.
Gillian: I would have absolutely no concerns about buying a Hyundai Tucson 1.7 dsl.
They are popular and have been since the day they launched. You should get into a 181 Comfort Plus model, but maybe look to push your budget a tad more for the Executive spec.
There is a new model 1.6 dsl out now, so you will be buying the older model, just something to think about.
I was surprised you didn't mention the new model Peugeot 5008, although if you don't need the seven seats then perhaps you have ruled it out.
The 3008SUV might be the answer though. You might need to go for a 171 if you want the high spec GT Line model but I would expect it to impress you and the kids. The floor in the back is flat (no hump behind front centre console) which is perfect for older children and there is plenty of room for three booster seats back there too.
Other choices include the Kia Sportage 1.7 dsl (also has a new 1.6 dsl model out recently), the SEAT Ateca and my go-to family favourite, the Nissan Qashqai.
Eddie: All I'll say is the Tucson is the best seller most months and has been for a few years now. That says a lot about it and makes it an obvious reason to buy one.
The nearest to it, I feel, is the KIA Sportage which I think looks that bit better.
But if you're thinking Tucson then go for it.
I've had a couple of promotions over the past couple of years and after skimping on a car for a long time, I can afford something 'sporty' for around €40,000.
Nothing too big or ostentatious. Something nice and smart for me - and my boyfriend. What would you suggest?
I'd go for a new model, preferably, but one of fairly recent vintage would do. Either way I need it to be a bit special.
Gillian: Go BMW 4 series M Sport auto. You won't get a brand new one, but you will go close.
It's a sexy looking motor and the boyfriend is sure to love it.
The Audi A5 S Line auto is every bit as good as the 4 series; it is just down to your taste.
Again, you won't get a 191-reg.
As much as I love both, and I would have either of them, I have a huge soft spot for the Lexus RC 300h.
Its shape screams 'sports car' and the F Sport model will certainly impress.
It's a head-turner on the road and there aren't a huge number of them so you will have a sense of being different.
It is a hybrid so not only will you look "cool" but you will be helping the environment and saving on fuel. Win, win in my opinion.
Eddie: Hard to argue with those choices especially as the Lexus RC has recently got something of a facelift. Lovely, underrated drive.
There is one other I'd look at if I were you and it's the Mercedes C-Class Coupe.
I really like the look of it. As well as good looks it has a lovely interior.
Buy new, not used, if you can because it's been overhauled relatively recently and it's a much better package as a result.
We have a budget of €8,000 for a second car because our family circumstances have changed (for the better I'm glad to say).
Definitely need a 5-seater and two child seats.
My husband and I are stressed out trying to get by with the one car now both of us are working. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Gillian: A family hatch is what I would be looking for and as new possible with a reputation for reliability.
The Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla/Auris, Kia Cee'd, Hyundai i30 - the list goes on - Peugeot 308, Opel Astra etc.
For €8k you will get into around the 131-reg mark in petrol (where available) or 12 in diesel, so you need to decide which fuel type is best for your expected annual driving.
As a general rule: if it's under 20,000km then a petrol will do the trick, but will be limited in numbers.
If it's definitely more than 25,000km then stick with diesel where there is great value at the minute and more choice.
Look for boots that suit buggies, look for back seats that have room for growing children, look for well spec'd models rather than basic models and always look for full service history.
If you are buying privately, which is a good place to go with €8k, do a history check on it first and get a mechanic or someone with good car know-how to take it for a spin.
Eddie: Well that's all the passenger car possibilities exhausted, thank you Gillian, so let me take a left-field perspective for a moment.
How about a fresh Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life people carrier which has loads of room and lots of places to carry family stuff? It's a durable motor and might suit your needs better than a hatchback. Be careful; buy it or any of Gillian's suggestions from a reputable dealer if you can please. I don't like the idea of you trading on the open market. As a cash customer a good dealer will do you a good deal.
I want to buy an electric car eventually but a hybrid will do me for the next three or four years. What would you suggest for someone like me with a budget of €20,000 for a five-seater? There would be no trade-in.
Gillian: Good plan. Not sure what size five-seater you need, so I will give you some suggestions that fit your price range.
Let's start with the main hybrid manufacturer for Ireland - Toyota - with models ranging from the small hatch Yaris up to the popular CH-R crossover. The new-model Yaris hybrid starts at just €19,850 so you could get yourself a 191-reg (or 192 if you can hold off until July). The new Corolla hybrid starts at €26,370 so it is out of budget but it will be a great seller and is so good to drive.
The older model Auris is a similar size and for €20k you should get into a 171 well specced version. Larger again is the CH-R with shapes and curves that divide opinions. I love the lines and styling but it's only out since late 2016 so you would need to be lucky to find a 162.
There is a larger SUV hybrid model with the RAV4 but only available since 2016 and unfortunately is out of budget.
Moving away from Toyota but sticking with their luxury brand - Lexus have some options. The CT200h is a well kitted out hatchback or if you need something bigger the IS300h saloon is an option too. After that, the Kia Niro and Hyundai Ioniq might suit, but they are scarce and might be out of your price range.
Eddie: I think the surest option is a fresh Toyota Prius hybrid. It has been doing the job for a long time now and seems to me to be the five-seater you are looking for - especially if you need space for family.
We are getting a lot of enquiries about renewing PCPs.
It is something to which we will return in the near future, but to the many who have asked about various facets please remember the following:
The car you have been driving under your current PCP is not yours until you have paid all repayments and whatever lump sum is outstanding.
Most people don't take that route. They opt for a new car and PCP deal. However, some people think the Guaranteed Minimum Value of the car is its worth as a trade-in. It is not. The only equity in the car - presuming there is any - is the difference between the Guaranteed Minimum Value and what the car is worth on the market at a given time.
A well worked-out PCP will allow for a decent wedge of equity to remain when the term of the deal is up. But in many cases you may find it necessary to inject extra cash towards a deposit if you wish to maintain repayments at the levels of your current deal.
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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.