Wednesday 16 October 2019

Are you looking for a new or second hand car? Ask our experts


Hyundai Kona
Hyundai Kona

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'm driving a 171 Opel Zafira seven-seater diesel (62,000km). No kids, just bought it for the comfort.

I commute daily (60km, 90 minutes each way) and liked the high-seat driving position. I get about 53mpg.

I am increasingly aware of diesel cars' impact in terms of emissions. I don't want to continue to contribute to the emissions 'cloud', so it's is time to change to a cleaner car.

I'm 95pc of the time alone in the MPV, so it's just not practical. I want to spend less money (and lose less in depreciation).

I checked the Nissan Leaf. I thought the seats were a little flimsy, but I am attracted by the zero emissions. It is reasonably sized.

Given my annual mileage (34,000km approx) the rep recommended I wait for the longer-range version, but I'm sceptical about going fully electric, especially with prices of €35k-plus.

Hyundai's Kona electric is way overpriced.

I plan on having a look at Toyota hybrids, but I'm sceptical about the 'up to 50pc of the journey could be all electric' claim. I have more or less ruled out the RAV4 hybrid.

I am prepared to wait for the right car, but I'd like to avoid large-scale debt to renew and ever reducing trade-in values.

I'm aiming for €28k-€32k including trade-in. Five-seater, comfort, reliability, emissions and economy are my criteria.

Gillian: I agree with the dealer about waiting a little longer for increases in electric car range - 34,000km per year is not electric car territory yet, and certainly not for a €30k price range.

If you need to commute your journeys daily, I think it should be a diesel.

You don't need an MPV, however - that's for sure. And certainly no more than five seats.

I wouldn't rule out a hybrid. You will make savings on fuel.

Toyota is probably your best bet here for choice. Take a look at the new Corolla that has just hit the roads (hatchback, saloon or estate). Prices from €26,370, so your budget is okay.

If you need the high seat position you are used to, how about the Toyota CH-R hybrid (also within budget)? Really though, you should stay with a diesel for your next buy.

Eddie: How about meeting yourself halfway and buying a Toyota Prius hybrid? It's roomy and different and proven.

I travel 80km per day. My car is giving me issues. It's an 08 Peugeot 308 petrol. I can't decide what make to go for next. I wouldn't want Peugeot or any French brand again.

My budget, including trade-in, would be between €5,000-€10,000. Would be looking for something sporty.

I like the SUV style. Nothing too fancy, though. Just low mileage and nice tax price.

Gillian: For that budget and with that driving, your best options are a compact SUV diesel.

You either love or hate the Nissan Juke 1.5 diesel. You'll find 2011 models for around €7,500 and up to 131-regs for €10k.

Opel have their Mokka 1.7 diesel; a 131/132 would be top of the budget.

After that there is the Citroen C4 Cactus and Renault Captur.

The Dacia Duster is a real bargain basement car and values hold up well.

Eddie: I've a feeling the Mokka or Captur would suit you best.

Around 18 months ago I got back on the road after years of not needing a car. I bought an 06 Audi A4. Crazy, I know, but that's where I'm at.

I've been looking at garages and types of vehicle but feel I might make the wrong decision on car and dealer.

Tax and insurance are killing me, so I'm looking to upgrade to around 141 to 161 with a budget between €10 and €15k or around €50/60pw.

So far, I've looked at the Audi A3 saloon, VW Golf, BMW 1 Series and small SUVs.

I'm due to have my first baby in the next couple of weeks, so I want to have a safe vehicle and a family-friendly one.

Would really appreciate any helpful tips.

Gillian: You have a choice to make here. You bought a big Audi and are looking for another Audi or a VW or BMW and I presume I could throw a Mercedes in the mix here.

These are the luxury options and they will mean an older registration plate for the money.

Or, you could go for a mainstream model that will give you a fresher plate for your budget and perhaps lower servicing and running costs.

Neither option is right nor wrong; it is just finding what suits you best.

Out of the three you listed, I like the A3 saloon. It is a good car for a small family. A 141-reg will fit budget.

After that, I'd steer you towards a Mazda CX-3 or Honda HR-V. You could come up to a 2015 plate in these and I think you will appreciate the extra height when the baby comes along.

Eddie: It's the Mazda CX-3 for me all day. Classy little car that will serve you, and baby, well for a few years, hopefully. Our best wishes to you all.

I'm driving a 2012 Renault Fluence ZE electric car with 26,000km. My annual mileage is under 10,000km.

I'm looking at either a 2016 or 2017 Nissan Leaf. My wife is looking to change her Fiesta 2011 automatic (109,000km) to a 2013 Yaris or Fiesta.

How much trade-in price should we expect on the cars?

Gillian and Eddie: The cost to change is what you need to think about.

One dealer might offer you more for your own car but less off the newer model, while another might offer less for your Fluence and Fiesta but more of discount off the Leaf or Yaris/Fiesta.

Also bear in mind that finding a 2013 Fiesta in automatic guise will be extremely difficult.

On that basis, the Toyota Yaris might be the better option if your wife wants to automatic transmission again.

As a rough guide, the full exchange of both cars will mean your pocket losing around €15k to €17k (depending on model spec and condition). That's coming up four or five years to the Leaf and two years on your wife's car.

I will be one of those returning emigres for 2019. Most of my car driving and ownership has been in California. But as I'm making plans to return mid-2019, I wanted to start thinking of car purchase.

There will be no trade-in. I'll be checking out of California in a Subaru Crosstrek 2015 (prior to that, I had a VW Passat for 10 years). The elevation of the Crosstrek for sitting into and the rear camera has me hooked for safety.

The other unknown will be the insurance as I will not have had a no-claims bonus in Ireland.

I would be driving around Ireland for pleasure and don't see a huge commute as I would like to work locally in a small town in the midlands.

Probably mileage of 10,000 miles. I don't see more than two or three people in the car at any time.

There is a small dog who would be fetched and carried for walks in nature.

I'm going to say a budget of €20,000, but I have concerns about petrol and insurance costs. Should I ship the Crosstrek home and use it on the continent for holidays about eight weeks of the year? It's worth about $17,000.

Gillian: I really can't advise on whether to bring the Crosstrek home or not.

It sounds like a huge ordeal coming from California and I assume would take a big chunk of its $17k worth.

I would see it becoming a bit of a burden on our roads actually, so perhaps sell it over there and start afresh.

So, what to go to from it? The obvious answer is another Subaru, but your expected driving doesn't really warrant it.

Living in a rural town and only doing 10,000 miles a year with limited passengers and a dog sounds like petrol to me.

I would love to suggest the Jeep Renegade, but any used ones in budget would be diesel and there won't be any one-year-old petrols. If you opted for the diesel, you might be better to go back to a Subaru.

How about a Hyundai Kona? Nice ride height, rear cameras and a five-star NCAP rating, so safety is no concern. It has a 1.0 turbo engine, so insurance will be low.

If you want a new 192-version, prices start at €21,245, so you might manage it. I would suggest you opt for a one-year-old in a higher spec.

I'm not sure if I am going too mainstream for you here, but I will throw in the Seat Arona and Kia Stonic just as other options to the Kona.

Eddie: Don't even think about bringing back your car. Life is complicated enough. Buy yourself a fresh KIA cee'd SW (stationwagon) petrol; enough room in the cabin for occasional passengers and you can keep the dog safely in the boot.

Should have at least three years' warranty on the KIA to give you peace of mind while you settle back in.

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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