Tuesday 16 July 2019

Are you looking for a second-hand car? Here's some advice from the experts


Audi A4
Audi A4

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 am looking to upgrade my 06 Mitsubishi Pajero 3.2 LWB Passenger (320,000km) for something more economical on diesel and tax. I'm a PAYE employee so I can't tax a business class version of the Toyota Land Cruiser or Pajero. I need a bit of a workhorse that will pull a horsebox and is 4WD. Any suggestions appreciated.

Gillian: The majority of choices will involve a lot less tax than your current machine.

Your main restriction will be the horsebox as recent legislation means a standard Cat B driving licence will only cover you if the maximum combined weight of the vehicle and horsebox/trailer does not exceed 3,500kg. So check that out before buying anything.

It's hard not to recommend going with the LandCruiser. You haven't mentioned budget, so I'm not sure what year you are hoping for. Toyota are no longer selling this model as a new vehicle. If you are looking for a secondhand model, you have the choice of a 141 right up to 182 for the 'Business'. They go for big money and even more so now they have been discontinued, but it is a great option and I think a smart move.

Other similar options include the Pajero as you mentioned and a Land Rover Discovery4 5S Commercial.

Eddie: You are extremely limited in choice. My preference would be the Toyota. Forget tax and Business talk - that's yesterday's story. The fact is you need a fresher 4x4 and I reckon the 'Cruiser' is the pick of the bunch.


I hope to have approx €25k to spend and would be looking at buying a 2016 BMW/Mercedes/Lexus with good spec. Contemplating buying an import from a registered Irish dealer. Could you outline the pros/cons of this?

Gillian: The brands you are looking at are being imported in large numbers and some arrive with better spec than the Irish equivalent. I wouldn't lose any sleep over buying a UK import from a registered dealer. They will provide the warranty and know what to look out for when bringing the right stuff in. For €25k, I assume you are looking at a 3 Series, C Class or IS300h. Don't rule out an Audi A4 either.

Eddie: The pros of buying an import from a registered Irish dealer are that you get peace of mind on warranty and proximity should something go wrong. The cons are mostly that you pay a premium compared with undertaking the whole process yourself. I know which option I'd take (the former). And in terms of what I'd go for I suggest you look closely at the A4 as Gillian has mentioned. The A4 may not be spectacular but it's a fine car.


My budget is roughly €3,500. I potter about and the odd trip down the country in my 2000 Toyota Yaris (almost 19yr old) 1 litre (40,000 miles). I bought it for €1,400 and currently pay €1,900 a year on insurance and €200 a year tax. I'm a recent college graduate with a good job but looking to get value for money without going around in a granny mobile. I don't know where to begin.

Gillian: I know of someone still driving a 1999 Yaris. Look out for a well-minded, low ownership, full-service history car. Think fresher Yaris, Ford Fiesta, Seat Ibiza or Honda Jazz. Oh, and a Mazda2 could be the one. It is value for money and a sound build. Running costs will be low and with a 1.3 engine, your insurance shouldn't be much harder on you. For €3,500 you should be able to find an 08 model in a dealer offering warranty. It isn't a granny mobile either. After that, I would go Yaris 1.0/Fiesta 1.25 in equal measure and then the Ibiza 1.2. There are so many more including the Hyundai i20, Peugeot 208 and Renault Clio. Shop around.

Eddie: What a choice. The one car I'd add would be the Mitsubishi Colt if you can get your hands on one. They go forever. Scarce but well worth investing some time in tracking down a clean one.


We have two old cars and both are starting to give some trouble. We've a 2004 BMW 3 series (120,000km roughly) and a 2004 Golf with about the same mileage. We only use them for driving around Dublin (not for commuting) but both are probably used for a short distance each day. We make the odd trip to the West. We've two small children and a lot of baggage so I'm hoping to get a car with a good boot for buggies/golf clubs etc. Our plan is to get rid of the BMW and get a family car. I've been looking at the Kia Sportage and Audi A6. I like the height of the Kia and the boot of the A6. I don't like estates though. Our budget is €15k max. The Golf has cost us about €600 in the last six months so I'm not sure if it's worth holding onto.

Gillian and Eddie: Unfortunately, while both cars are valuable to you, they aren't going to make back much money if you sell. You may need to hold onto the Golf as a second car until you can afford to upgrade it. You could sell both and buy two new cars for the €15k, one a family car for around €10k and the other a smaller run-around for €5k.

A suggestion would be a Nissan Qashqai for nice height and boot space and a Toyota Corolla for value for money with the €5k and something you shouldn't have to worry about on servicing costs. If you do want to spend all the budget on a family car, the Sportage is a good start. You should find a 2013 EX model, with some nice spec. The A6 is comfortable to drive but we're not sure it's what you are after.

The Sportage makes sense or maybe something similar in style and price such as the Hyundai ix35 or Mazda CX-5.


I currently drive a 12-reg Audi A4 diesel. It is a great car to drive. But as I am a part-time farmer, I need something to pull a cattle trailer and was thinking of changing to an SUV/4x4. I also need some comfort as I carry a couple of elderly people once or twice a week. A friend of mine recommends a Mazda CX-5 automatic. What do you think? I would not be doing a lot of trailer work. I would do about 20,000km/year average. My budget would be €10,000 plus my car.

Gillian: Working with a full budget of around €17k/€20k, here are some suggestions.

The Mazda CX-5 4x4 automatic would be ideal for carrying your elderly passengers. You would be looking at a 141/142-reg.

Look at the Hyundai ix35 2.0 diesel Executive Auto too. The Kia Sportage is similar to the ix35.

If you are not an executive brand snob you could pick up a new or nearly new Dacia Duster in budget. Diesel prices start at €20,590.

They don't come in Automatic but do have a large towing capacity.

Eddie: I think for the mix of work and comfort you're talking about your friend's recommendation - the Mazda CX-5 - is a good one. I've driven it here and abroad (under austere conditions); it's a great piece of work.

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:

c Budget (including trade-in).

c Annual mileage (in kms).

c Size of car required (number of seats).

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


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