Are you buying a new or second-hand car? Our experts answer your questions
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 We are changing our car (13 Auris). We have it narrowed down to an 18 Peugeot 3008 1.2 petrol Allure model or a 16/17 Toyota RAV4 hybrid. The car is used for small journeys around Dublin mainly with a monthly trip to Mayo.
We know what to expect to pay along with our own car but we would like your advice on which to pick regarding mpg, reliability, comfort and ride.
Gillian: First I would say go drive both if you haven't already. They both hold their value well. Don't get too bogged down on which one will save you a small few more euro each week. Both are reliable and a pleasure to drive.
There is a new RAV4 so the one you are looking at will be the older model and for this reason, the Peugeot would be my preference this time.
Eddie: I'm a fan of the inside of the Peugeot. I'd probably go that route too.
Q We were driving a 171 VW Touran until it was stolen last month. We are awaiting a decision from the insurance to advise if and what they will pay for it.
We bought it for the seven seats but also because we could fit three individual car seats in the back seat. We have a young family, a 4-year old and a 2-year old, so space is a must.
We think we will be left with between €14-€16k after the finance is cleared. We are torn between buying a car with the settlement balance or getting another HP loan. Our budget would be €26-€29k depending on the settlement.
Gillian: The VW Touran 1.6 diesel Comfortline models were the main seller and will cost €23k/€24k today with 60,000kms. This is a starting figure from which you can work.
You could take the settlement figure and then opt for another Touran or a Peugeot 5008 (also a 7-seater that can fit the 3 car seats in the second row). You would have to pay around €25k for a 172-plate. I would stay away from financing more than you really need to. Try to replace what you had with as little expense as possible and another Touran and 5008 will do that.
Eddie: Like for nearly like for me; another Touran it is.
Q I have just sold my excellent 181 Peugeot 1.2 3008 GT-Line because it is a manual; auto was not then available.
I drive 8,000km a year. I have no need of diesel. I want an automatic and would consider a hybrid.
I believe Peugeot will have the 3008 in a hybrid soon. Do you know if an auto will be available? What else should I consider around the €36,000 mark?
Gillian: Automatic petrol 3008s are now available and priced at €36,370 for the same GT Line spec.
I believe there will be a plug-in hybrid 3008 in October and should be in Ireland shortly afterwards. As you only do a small amount of annual driving, it might be well worth the wait.
Other options are the Toyota CH-R or RAV4 if you don't mind using the full budget.
Eddie: I think you should take the bull by the horns and go full electric. On 8,000kms a year it is really the right option when you think about it.
And here are three suggested models to start with: Hyundai Kona, KIA eSOUL and KIA eNIRO. Lower range versions of the latter will get you a new EV on your budget.
Q I am about to return to Ireland after 16 years to take up a job in the west. I got my full Irish licence six years ago, but have never owned a car, nor had insurance in my own name.
I'm hoping to buy a used car when I return; mostly for around town and occasional long trips. I'd prefer a hybrid, but it's not a deal breaker. I also enjoy driving a manual.
My budget is a flexible €15,000, but I am lost in a sea of options. I am looking for something sensible like a hatchback and don't want to have to pay through the nose for insurance. I'm totally confused.
Should I look into imported demo cars? How much of a role should the engine capacity play in my decision? Can you give me a rough estimate of what I could expect to pay for insurance? It's difficult to find out anything online.
Gillian and Eddie: Hybrid will reduce your options and all are auto, not manual, so we suggest a petrol or diesel model.
For €15k, most of your choice will be diesel and the hatchbacks we would suggest are Ford Focus, Toyota Auris/Corolla, Kia cee'd or Hyundai i30 for hopefully lower insurance rates. All have 1.4-1.6 engines and for €15k you have lots of choice of spec, colour and condition. It is impossible to estimate what the insurance will cost but we can tell you this for nothing: shop around like mad because quotes can vary enormously.
Q My current BMW 520d (2016) with 131,000kms on the clock is a great car but I'm interested in changing because my hips and knees are creaking when getting in and out of the low-slung seat. I need a good SUV. My budget is €60,000 including trade-in. Annual mileage 40,000k. I need some boot storage for work purposes and a hitch for a car trailer.
Gillian: It's a shame your hips and knees are giving trouble because the 520d is a great car as you said. I would suggest sticking with something equally good with the BMW X3 or Audi Q5. A Volvo XC60 would also be on my list as a hitch and trailer won't look out of place on it.
Eddie: The new Volvo XC60 ticks a lot of your boxes, I think. Lovely car.