Sunday 20 January 2019

I don't want to spend much more than €20k and I don't want a new car. Any suggestions?



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 drive a 2011 520d Series BMW. The car has low mileage (50k) and  it's a lovely drive, but I'm finding it difficult to take my toddler and newborn in and out of it, and the buggy etc in and out of the boot. I also have a dog who can't come anywhere with us.

I desperately want a car that is more baby-friendly and unlikely to cause further damage to my back.

Safety is paramount to us, so a good, solid car is important.

I don't want to spend much more than €20k and don't want a new car.

Any suggestions?


It's going to be tough giving up your premium brand, so start with a lovely BMW X3 20d XDrive SE automatic.

Stick with BMW dealers as you get two years' unlimited-mileage warranty.

If you want to maximise your budget further, then look at a Mazda CX-5 in Executive SE trim; the 2015 models will cost a little more than €20,000 but not by much and I think you are better future-proofing your car needs by buying the younger car.

Lastly, look at the Honda CR-V. The 1.6-litre diesel ES model is the way to go.

Again, 2015s are worth the minor additional outlay in the grand scheme of things.


I am totally against stretching your budget but if you did so ever so slightly you might get into a lovely 151-reg 2 Series Active Tourer (people carrier).

That way you stay with BMW and you get a purpose-built family car that has good room all round and should lower the risk of aggravating your back because it sits moderately high.

I think it ticks a lot of boxes for your situation.

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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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