Sunday 15 July 2018

Car for 10 more years, starting out, redundancy buy, better deal?


Honda Jazz
Honda Jazz

Aidan Timmons and Motoring Editor Eddie Cunningham team up to help readers make the right choice with their next car. Aidan visits dealers all over the country to produce a monthly guidebook on the values of used cars. He is co-editor of Motor Trade Publishers, who supply a car-valuing service to the motor trade, insurance companies and finance houses. Eddie is author of former best-seller 'Clever Car Buying'.

I am in my late 70s and would like to upgrade to something which would hopefully last me around 10 years. The most important requirement is minimum cabin noise as I have a hearing loss (I have two hearing aids). Conversation with my wife when travelling is negligible at present. Budget €12,000/€18,000 range. Annual mileage max 8,000km; 4/5 seat hatchback. Current: 2006 (March) Ford Fiesta Steel 1.25 111,000km. A higher seating position is the next requirement. Preferably hatchback but good boot space would be a plus. Would a luxury model such as Audi A1 be possible; or something like the new Suzuki Ignis? I've no problem with any make as I think most cars nowadays are reliable. Are you aware of any new models or likely scrappage deals in the foreseeable future; otherwise I'll have to sell privately.

Aidan: Peugeot offers scrappage for some models. The company's marketing material says the offer expires on August 31 but if this is too sudden a deadline, check with your dealer to see if an extension is possible. The only headline stipulation (check the small print), appears to be that your trade-in needs to be from 2009 or older; which yours is. All of this is good news because I think the 2008 is perfect for you. It qualifies for €3,500 scrappage, which means that you should be able to afford a 1.2-litre petrol Active model.

An Allure model would be even nicer but I reckon the Active will deliver and then some. I regularly recommended the 2008 because it's a goldilocks car; not too big, not too small, not too tall, not too expensive - just right. And it has a quiet cabin.

I haven't driven the Ignis yet but I know Eddie has so I'll let him field that one. Something worth considering is the Skoda Fabia Combi. It's extremely rare to get an estate version of a supermini but Skoda have one. Go for the 1.0-litre petrol engine in Ambition trim. That is the best balance of equipment and price. The Fabia has a tall seating position, loads of room and a massive boot. I once drove one back to Ireland from Portugal and even with my heavy right foot, cabin noise was minimal.

Eddie: I tend to go with my initial gut instinct. The Peugeot, Suzuki and Skoda that Aidan mentions are all perfectly fine for you. But my first thought: Honda Jazz. It's that bit higher; it is quiet (you can get an auto/CVT version) and it will go and go. Admittedly, you may have to pay a premium for a recent-vintage, good used one but they don't give trouble and will still be worth a few euro when you come to trade in for another one in 10 years.

I would appreciate your advice. I have just been made redundant and had a company car for the last 10 years, the latest a Kia Sportage, 2016, 18,000km. I am married with two kids (1, 3 years old) and live in a rural area near a major city. I am looking for an SUV or Crossover. I do not want to spend more than €18k and can pay in cash. Am looking at the Renault Captur but would love your advice on what else would be good. I need to move quickly on as I must have a car where I live.

Aidan: The Captur is a good option. If you still fancy it enough to make a move then look for the Intense model. There are quite a few coming off demonstration periods so you will have plenty of choice and values are moderated by the volume in the market. Sensible choice from practicality and value-for-money perspectives.

Just like the previous reader, look at the Peugeot 2008. No need to expand further. Coming from a Sportage, you will notice a reduction in space so just in case you find the Captur et al to be too small, then look for a used Sportage or Nissan Qashqai.

Your budget should buy you a new shape 2014-plate 1.5 diesel Qashqai in SV trim. That's the one to go for. Again, there are enough around for you to be choosy. I know you are in a hurry but don't spend in a panic.

Take a breath, weigh up your options and commit to the right choice as you will be driving the car for the next few years and can't afford to get it wrong.

Eddie: As usual Aidan ticks so many boxes, but here's a left-fielder. You say you have €18,000 to spend in cash. Right now you're a prized customer. I think you'd do worse than approach a Dacia dealer with a view to buying a new Duster family crossover (from €16,690).

There is a brand new one coming before the end of the year so now is a good time to use that as a bit of leverage in your case for a current model. You are utterly reliant on a car so the three-year warranty (you can extend to five) is helpful. By all means look at Aidan's suggestions but try Dacia too.

I am 22-year-old woman and I am starting a new job in a large south-western town. I will have to move there from my home 50km away because of the long drive, poor road and heavy traffic. I am driving our Toyota Corolla 1.4 diesel for now as my parents can use my brother's car if they need it. However, I need to get my own. I will not cover much mileage when I'm set up in the new apartment but I will be home for training with the GAA club two nights a week. What would you advise? My budget is €12,000 max.

Aidan: You need to go back for training twice a week. That's 100km per round trip. I presume you have matches at weekends, too. So, that's another 100km. If you did that for 50 weeks of the year, you cover 300km for 50 weeks, which is 15,000km. Your season is unlikely to be 50 weeks but you will be back and forth and going other places in the off-season so my calculation probably still roughly tallies.

Perhaps a diesel is still the best bet as you seem to cover most of your driving on motorways. In that case, simply buy a Toyota Auris. You know the car and how it handles. Your parents might even have a relationship with a local Toyota dealer who can give you a good deal. Petrol or diesel, it's an Auris all the way.

Eddie: Our Aidan doesn't sit on the fence does he? My only concern would be: would a smaller car suit you better? If you're the only occupant maybe a Toyota Yaris might be a better bet. You'll get a younger car for your money; a 132-reg 1.5-litre Hybrid is distinctly feasible; maybe even a 141. Others well worth a look include the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, Skoda Fabia, Mazda2 and Honda Jazz. I'd buy the Yaris.

I'm looking to change my car to a better one. Would love your inputs on this. Current car: Honda Fit (Japanese import), 08; 1.4 petrol auto, 114,000km. About 300km-350km a week, mostly on M50, plus occasional long drives. Budget: €12k-€13k max including trade-in. I'm spending about €50 on petrol each week. The car is getting old, so I would like to upgrade. I must go the automatic route due to my license restrictions. I was thinking a diesel. Audi A3, VW Golf, Hyundai i30, Ford Focus. Can I import from the North/UK maybe? If so what should be the price range in sterling I should have in mind?

Aidan: You might consider selling your car privately as Japanese imports are unlikely to be looked upon kindly by dealers. I could be wrong, but don't rule out shifting the Fit/Jazz on yourself.

Just like the previous reader, the nature of your driving infers you need a diesel. Opt for something from the class above the Jazz.

Look out for an automatic Kia cee'd, Ford Focus and VW Golf. The Golf might be your best bet as a decent number of DSG (auto) versions were sold. I also wonder if the Yaris hybrid might work for you. The upper end of your budget could just sneak you into a 2014-plate model.

Eddie: You're going to have to go back the years to get an Audi A3 at your budget while not so far for some of the others. So you need to decide if age or model takes priority. I would drop the A3. I would look at a Golf either here or as an import with the auto DSG transmission.

Option 2 would be to trade in your car against a newer Jazz (automatic/CVT) here or up north. Most people spend €50/week on petrol covering 17,500km a year so I wouldn't get hung up on that. Golf auto or Jazz CVT.


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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