Helpdesk: What would you recommend for our second family car?
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 the former best-seller 'Clever Car Buying'
I have an 09 Avensis with 200,000km. Been told I'd get €4,500 on trade-in. My annual usage is 15,000km. We now have two children (two-year-old, three months). My wife is currently closing in on her test, so we will hopefully be a two-car family. What would you suggest as next best steps? I'd like to keep a saloon car for myself and perhaps an SUV-type option for longer journeys/my wife. We would probably finance both cars. Budget would include the trade-in as well as an extra €7.5K as deposit.
Aidan: Unfortunately, without an overall budget I cannot go into detail on specific cars. However, decide whose car is more important and allocate the lion's share of the budget to that. Do not buy a car for exceptional occurrences such as the odd long journey. Your main car should be capable of that.
You say that you will finance both cars. Are you thinking new or used? If you opt for PCP finance, it might not make sense to throw your entire €7,500 deposit at one car.
It depends on the new-car cost, but the trick is to deposit an amount to keep good equity at the end of the three years so you have something to start your next deal. Talk this over with your dealer. It all comes down to affordability. If your wife is only starting out driving, ensure she is comfortable with an SUV and the cost of insurance. She might be better off in something smaller if she is only doing short runs. I reckon it's a Prius for you and a Yaris or Auris for her.
Eddie: My worry is you are biting off a lot in one go. I must assume you have the income to sustain both sets of repayments for the proposed cars. On the basis you can, why not think about a 1.33-litre petrol Corolla saloon for you and a Peugeot 2008SUV 1.2-litre petrol for your wife? Please go through the figures in detail first, though.
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.