'Cred' buy for €7,000; A tall order; Better boot; From TT to what? €25k budget?
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 need a handy runaround car for myself and my seven-year old daughter. It needs to be fresh with not too big an engine - maximum 1.6litre. My budget is small at €7k.
What do you suggest? I only do school run and local mileage around Dublin. Has to be reliable and not cost a fortune to maintain. Can be a 2dr.
Only problem is the seven-year-old daughter is opinionated on everything, so what would have a bit of cred? I like the Peugeot 208, 308, Renault Clio etc.
Gillian: Superminis are the best. The choice is huge and there really are no bad options, so long as you buy a car with a good history from a reputable dealer offering suitable warranty.
I also have an opinionated seven-year-old daughter, so I understand your situation. My first choice is a MINI. I mean, how cool is that for the school run? I ran it by my kid and she said I was too old, so if you are too old like me, let's go back to your favourites.
I like the Clio. Your €7k will get you into the nicer-shaped 131 in Dynamique spec. In the right colour, these are super cars.
The 208 is similar on money and engine size, with both being a 1.2 petrol. I would opt for the 3dr version of the 208 because it has a sportier look. The Clio only has a 5dr, but I prefer its styling.
The Ford Fiesta can be fun and value for money, but you may have to stretch to get a 131 in budget. A firm favourite of mine is the Mazda2. It's a little pricier than the others, so you may need to go for a 2012, but reliability isn't a question.
Eddie: I'd also consider chasing down a Volkswagen Beetle (most likely 1.4-litre). A 131 model will leave you with money to spare on your budget. How cool would that be? Just bear in mind it is a 2dr and there were not that many bought, but it should amply meet your daughter's requirements for street cred.
After driving a Mercedes E-Class for more than 30 years, I am changing down in the new year - due to my age (79), small local mileage and the fact that there is just the two of us.
My car needs in early 2019 will be automatic, petrol, good-sized cabin, good headroom (I am 6ft 4ins), high seating (my wife has a hip problem) and the car to be six to 10 years old.
Gillian: I think you should look for options at the six-year-old end of the range. Ten years is getting you into wear and tear costs and annual NCTs.
First choice is the Skoda Yeti, 10-reg to 172-reg as a 1.2 petrol in automatic (DSG). It has plenty of leg and headroom and a higher than normal ride height for your wife. A six-year-old in the new year will set you back around €10k.
Another worth thinking of is the Mercedes B-Class. Only problem is they mainly sold as manual diesels.
Finding a petrol automatic for your requirements is tricky as most of the vehicles sold from 2008 to 2016 were diesel.
Eddie: This is a difficult mix of requirements. Gillian and I have scratched our heads. There is no point in sending you off looking for obscure cars such as the petrol Ford B-MAX. I think the petrol Yeti is a good bet. Indeed, I think it is your best bet.
I have an Audi A4 161 2.0 TDI with 42,000km. I do 13,000km a year. Car required for two adults (me and my wife) and two small kids (two-year-old and two-month-old).
The car is not driven much during the week as we both commute on train (living in Dublin), but we do long spins north and south every few weeks. Boot space is tight in the Audi when packing pram/buggy and baggage.
Our budget is around €10k. We'd like a car with a strong trade-in value in two to three years' time. Looked at new Volvo V60, but it may be too expensive new.
Gillian: The good news in you have a great car as a trade-in or to sell privately. It's an Audi A4 and the low mileage will appeal to a lot of buyers. Along with your €10k, you are looking at a full budget of around €32k, depending on spec etc.
The current Volvo V60 starts at €40,750, so it's out of range. You might find a 181-reg to suit in the new year.
How about looking at an SUV rather than an estate? I'd highly recommend the Peugeot 3008 or 5008. Both come with petrol and diesel versions and a petrol may be the way for you to go.
You could aim for a high spec model in the 3008 and it will certainly fit the buggy with baggage.
Ford has a price reduction across its range, so perhaps look at the Kuga. If you do have your heart set on an estate, a new Skoda Superb Combi is in budget, as is a Volkswagen Passat. The new Opel Insignia Sport Tourer might offer you some more options too.
Eddie: I think you should stick with an estate and if you do it would be a Skoda Superb Combi for me.
I have a 12-reg Audi TT Quattro diesel and am looking to change to a 4dr. I currently drive 12,500km per year, but this will increase to around 20,000km from next year. I want something stylish and with power.
What fuel type would you recommend? My husband wants me to think eco/plug-in hybrid.
I will need to finance the majority of what it will cost over the value of my current car (which I own outright), but I would like to finance no more than €15k.
Gillian: Coming out of a niche car is difficult. Your proposed annual driving suits petrol, diesel or hybrid/plug-in hybrid, but if you want the latter be aware that your choices are limited, especially if you want style and power.
A BMW 330e or VW Passat GTE would be a good start. Both should fit your budget for a 17-reg plate and satisfy your wish for power. For me, the 330e has the edge - mostly for styling.
If you decide that PHEV isn't for you, how about going for an Audi A5? The only thing is you might only come up three or four years from the TT for that extra €15k into a 15/16-reg. Or maybe try an Audi A4.
Eddie: I'd simply move into as new an A4 diesel as I possibly could. I think the chances are you'll do more than 20,000km from next year and that is diesel territory.
You're going to get a super fresh car and stay with the brand. I advocate the latter where possible because you'll likely get a better deal from a same-brand outlet. And I think that I'd trade in rather than try to sell privately. The Audi A4 it is for you, I think.
I drive a 2008 Honda Accord. It has served me well for years, but now that I'm married with two small kids I'm looking to buy an SUV for the space.
I have a daily 22km work commute on country roads and then some occasional longer family trips.
A one or two-year old Mazda CX-5 has been in my head, but lately I've been worried about future penalties that may be applied to diesel cars, both in fuel price and future resale values.
I've begun to contemplate a 2019 Toyota RAV4 hybrid on PCP. Am I mad?
My budget is around €25k (I would be borrowing €20,000 of it). Thanks for your help.
Gillian: A new Toyota RAV4 hybrid won't fit your budget, but a used one (since 161) is an option and a good one. If you want to go for a 191, the Mazda CX-5 is more affordable, starting at €28,995 for the 2.0 petrol and €31,495 for the 2.2 diesel.
I understand your concerns about diesel, but the SUV market is strong and both the RAV4 and CX-5 have always held high residual values, so I would not be concerned about buying either. I would also suggest you also look at the new Honda CR-V. The 1.5 turbo petrol engine pumps 173hp, which is a lot of power for your money.
Eddie: I don't think you should have to spend so much on a diesel SUV. Your mileage looks tiny, so why spend more on a diesel when you don't need to ?
Also remember that an SUV doesn't necessarily mean more space. There is a false perception in many cases that it does.
I think you'd be mad to spend money on a diesel, so I'm going to suggest that you look at a Toyota Prius hybrid.
It has loads of room, especially in the back and in the boot, and is just the fit for the sort of driving you're talking about.
However, if you decide you're going for an SUV, the Mazda CX-5 would be my pick. Great car (sorry SUV).
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