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 My wife and I are both in our 60s. We both drive and are looking for something a bit roomier for the grandkids.
Present car: 2012 Golf Match, 1.4-litre TSi petrol; 67,000kms; bought from UK Sept 2017. Mileage was 40,000kms. Cost €12,000. Thinking small SUV; 5/6seats. Same cc if possible. Petrol. Current car nifty; more for youngsters.
Don't use techy stuff, Bluetooth etc; €2,000 with trade-in would be budget. One other point: we find pressing clutch to floor to start car a nuisance so cancelling that out big bonus.
Gillian: You have around €9,000 to spend. A 2012/2013 1.6 Nissan Qashqai would fit budget.
But it is an older model so more like a large hatch, which will give you more room but really the 1.2-litre petrol newer model is a better choice, though it is over budget.
There is no real petrol SUV that will work; most are diesel and even, at that, the options are limited to a few including Dacia Duster and Ford Kuga (which has a 2-litre engine).
For something roomier, same vintage or newer than 2012 I would suggest a saloon like the Opel Insignia 1.4 or Skoda Superb 1.4 but again, these are scarce.
Honda Civic 1.4 might be the answer, it can fit three teens in the rear and you could also come up a year to a 131 in it.
Eddie: Tough one. I'm worried about you going back so far in the years to get a car more suitable for your needs.
No matter how good they are, I always fear trouble.
For that reason I'd urge you to look again at your preferences.
I feel it would be a retrograde step. For starters your €2,000 top-up budget will be lost in any transaction.
So, unusually, I'm going to ask you to reconsider. Is there anyway you could, without over-doing it, stretch to a €5,000 budget for example?
I would go the diesel Qashqai (13/14) route on that basis.
Q My wife and I are a single-car family in our 60s and I will be retiring next year. I drive about 16,000kms a year but this should reduce after my retirement. Current car is a 171 SEAT Leon SE with 41,000kms on the clock.
New car must have higher seating and bucket seats are out. Budget €10,000-€12,000 plus trade-in.
I am considering two options: straight trade-in or selling my car to my son at a discount and doing a scrappage deal on his car.
My wife is against Personal Contract Plans (PCPs) but I think she does not fully understand the concept.
I was thinking along the lines of an Arona, T-Cross/T-Roc, C-HR (more expensive).
Gillian: If you hadn't mentioned the Arona, I would have. Any SEAT dealer would be happy to take your trade-in and I expect you will get a good deal too.
Speak with the dealer about what they will do on a trade-in or using your son's car as scrappage.
Shop around, they won't all offer the same money.
The T-Cross is a similar machine but costs more and the T-Roc is more expensive again but is a larger motor.
As it's just the two of you, however, I don't see the need for the extra expense.
If you were looking to go hybrid, the Toyota CH-R is a good choice but is a good bit more expensive as you said.
Eddie: Go and spend the few extra euro on the Volkswagen T-Cross. Do the scrappage and all that but I think you deserve the T-Cross. It is, in my book, a great little car and you will enjoy it. Yes, it will cost a bit more, maybe, but it should also hold its value proportionately. If I had the money it would be on my priority list.
Q Love your column every week. It is a great service. We have a 12-reg Ford Fiesta and my husband wants a hybrid. We have €20,000 to spend on the right car but we want to get the best deal that is going. What would you advise?
Gillian: If you want to stick with a car of the Fiesta's size, then the Toyota Yaris hybrid is your car, I think. Prices start from €19,850 - for which you can get a shiny 192 Aura model. If you wanted something bigger and don't mind buying a used car, the Toyota Auris is a good option. Or how about going for a Lexus CT 200h for a bit of luxury?
Eddie: I've a simple answer for you: Buy the Toyota Yaris hybrid. It will suit you and meet your needs.
Q What am I to do if I don't buy a diesel next year?
I travel 45,000km a year as part of my job and my Ford Mondeo has stood me in good stead. I always change after three years.
Can you suggest what I do? Should I go Mondeo diesel again? Or would a hybrid work for me do you think?
Gillian: That's a lot of driving. Go diesel again; the new Mondeo is a good choice.
There will be little hassle trading in your own against it, although the kilometre reading might hurt you a little. A hybrid will do the job, of course, but trading it back in three years' time with around 130,000kms on the clock will be less attractive to a potential buyer than the same reading on a diesel. There is also a new Peugeot 508 that's worth a look.
And one you may not have considered is the smaller Honda Civic saloon, 1.6-litre diesel.
Eddie: You haven't much choice on diesel, regardless of what they say. I don't particularly like the 'new' Mondeo but seeing as you are driving one you might as well swap like for like. That way you'll get whatever bit of extra financial edge is going.