Sunday 25 August 2019

'I need a car with a boot for three or more suitcases at a time'

This week leading car-values expert Gillian Keogh teams up with Independent Motors to help readers make the right choice with their next car purchase. Gillian is editor of a monthly guidebook on the values of used cars as part of the Motor Trade Publishers team. The prestigious company supplies a car-valuing service to the motor trade, insurance companies and finance houses

Honda HR-V
Honda HR-V

First of all, a huge welcome to Gillian Keogh and a fond farewell to Aidan Timmons. We wish them both the best in their new roles. Because it is Gillian's first week, it is only fair she should get pride of place, so I'll return with my tuppence worth of advice in conjunction with her next week. All yours, Gillian.

I drive an 07 Avensis 1.8 petrol, 175,000km. Tax is €639/year. Mileage is too low for such a big engine. I drive 15,000km/year. I'm a single parent. My work, parents, two teenage boys' school, golf club are all nearby. I'm considering a small petrol, hybrid or PHEV. I need a big boot for three or more suitcases at a time. It also needs to accommodate golf clubs and trolley. Also need space for a large dog. I was considering a Toyota Auris estate or Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Budget max €20,000.

Gillian: Here's what I'm hearing: a small car with a large boot that is cool enough for maybe two teenage boys to learn to drive in a while - and a large dog. Small is maybe not what will suit you best so I will go into the medium section. I would stick with petrol and ask you to think about the following. Toyota Auris 1.2 estate - €20k will get you into a 171/172 Luna (plenty of boot space). In the right colour it should keep the boys happy too. Skoda Octavia 1.2 estate - looks great on the road. Again, a 17 plate is an option in Ambition spec. Honda HR-V 1.5 - you might have to go a little more on the budget, but your options should include a 171 SE spec or a 161/162 ES spec.

I need a reliable car with biggish boot. Family is two adults and two young teens. I have a 2007 Vectra Club saloon 1.6 petrol (275,000km). Mainly motorway driving (approx 30,000km/year. I am looking to replace in the next six months or so. My budget is €7.5k to €15k. I would like to get eight to 10 years out of next one. Do I go with second-hand Octavia, Passat etc or a hybrid? I would consider electric but am worried about re-charging.

Gillian: With your driving, you need a diesel. I wouldn't consider a hybrid. If you want those years out of the car, you will need to buy as close to new as possible. This will push you to the upper limits of your €15k budget. The family/fleet saloon market is great value with so much interest in SUVs. Here's a few to look for. Kia Optima 1.7 dsl, seven-year warranty so happy days. Look for a well-minded 141/142 or go to a 131/132 and sit comfortably with your budget. Go for Platinum model, EX was basic. Hyundai i40 1.7 dsl, 12-regs go for around €10,000/11,000k and 141/142s around €14,500/€15,000 so you have plenty of budget choice. Opel Insignia 1.6 Dsl, a 152 Insignia 2.0 Dsl SC 140 would be within budget.

My wife and I have a 2009 Hyundai i30 (petrol) and 2007 Mondeo diesel respectively. We've two young kids. My wife's boot is not big enough for buggies etc. The back isn't ideal for two car seats either. We'd have a budget of €12k to 15k including trade-in. Mileage is 10k/year or less for my wife. Mine could increase depending on work. Currently tiny commute but this could go to 15k. We are unsure whether to change the Hyundai or the Ford.

Gillian: Hang onto the i30. These are great at the moment with customers now switching from diesel to petrol. If you are happy to take it (would be fine for 15,000km year driving) you could invest in a new model for her. With your €12 to 15k and Mondeo trade-in, my suggestions would be as follows. Nissan Qashqai - look for 1.2 petrol SV spec, 141/142 and maybe even a 151. There is an XE spec that should get her into that 151 plate. Peugeot 3008 1.6 dsl - will comfortably fit the car seats and buggies. You should be able to pick up an Active spec with a 141/142 plate. Skoda Fabia 1.2 estate - always a go-to for your scenario. Your budget will get her into a nearly new 171 Ambition 90. The rear has two Isofix seat fittings and the boot is impressive.

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 brief-as-possible 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.

It's goodbye to Aidan

Aidan Timmons is moving on to pastures new after four exceptional years of dispensing advice and wisdom for Independent Motors' Advice Desk. He has been a stalwart and a friend and will be sadly missed, though we wish him every success in his new career, of course.

As you have come to expect, Aidan wanted to say goodbye in his own inimitable fashion, so here it is in his own words:

"When Eddie called me to say that he had an idea to help Irish car buyers, specifically used car buyers, I could never have fathomed that every week for four years I would be dishing out advice to all corners of the country.

"Now I am driving my career in a new direction, and it is with a heavy heart that I leave the Advice Desk.

"To those who quizzed me and exercised my thinking, to the people who contacted Eddie to complain about (and praise) my recommendations, to some who challenged me to rethink the best approach to car buying, to the parents asking questions on behalf of children and vice versa, and to everyone else who came along for the ride, I have to say it was an honour to be trusted enough to advise you on such important decisions.

"I will cherish the memories. I wish you all well with your next purchases."

And it's hello to Gillian

Aidan may be leaving but we are keeping things in the family. We are joined by leading car-value expert Gillian Keogh, who just happens to be Aidan's sister and is editor of a monthly guidebook on the values of used cars as part of the Motor Trade Publishers team.

The prestigious company supplies a car-valuing service not just to the motor trade but to insurance companies and finance houses.

And in her inimitable fashion, Gillian wants to say hello in her own words. Here they are:

"As soon as Eddie asked me to join the Advice Desk, I had no hesitation in immediately saying a big yes . I was closely aware of it because of Aidan's involvement, and knew how challenging and fulfilling he found it. I am excited at the prospect and hope I can help you make the right decision when you come to buying. I promise to do my utmost."

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