"I want to trade in my 2012 Hyundai i20"
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 want to trade in my 2012 Hyundai i20 (118,000km). It would be a second car (we have a 151 Dacia Duster). With it as a trade-in we would probably put a max of €13,000. We want something not too large, comfortable in the back for our young adults at college. I want to go automatic. I think petrol makes more sense (15,000km/year) and we have the diesel Duster for longer trips.
Aidan/Eddie: Find a 2015 Toyota Auris hybrid in Luxury trim. Better still if you can get a Tourer (estate) version. It will last the pace, has loads of room and is automatic. Simple as that.
I've a 2010 Opel Insignia with 200k+ on the clock. Was going to sell two years ago but since then have spent about €2k on fixing jobs. It just failed its NCT today with a broken rear coil and I'm about fed up with it. As I've only about €10,000 plus this car, is it worth trying to upgrade or should I just run it into the ground?
Was considering an electric car (would then need finance) as 90pc of commute is city driving. Do need a good boot as I'm a golfer.
Aidan: Two ways of looking at this: You've had your bad luck and now everything is fixed (coil pending) so you can drive for another while or the car has become uneconomical to continue. I think it's the latter. I'm a golfer and I find boot space in the electric Nissan Leaf is a little cramped. Try to find a petrol Kia cee'd SW instead.
Eddie: Buy a well-minded Toyota Prius; ideal for city commute and golfing.
We are looking at buying a second-hand as a run-around. We have an 07 Audi A4 diesel in which my wife travels only 15km-20km each way for work. We do a good bit of motorway driving at the weekends. We are holding on to the Audi until we upgrade later in the year. Can you recommend a reliable run-around for a budget of €6-€7k with reasonable space and comfort? We were considering the BMW Series 1. Any other recommendations?
Aidan: Broaden your search to the mass market. Maybe opt for a Hyundai i30 or Honda Civic. At this budget level there tends to be lot of mutton dressed as lamb. Interrogate the condition and mileage of the car. Buy a history report.
Eddie: I'm worried you'll buy trouble. So be ultra careful. I'd add a Toyota Auris to Aidan's list and a Mazda3.
We are moving back from the US and looking for a car with decent running costs as we believe insurance premiums for returning expats are expensive (See Shortcuts - Eddie). We both will have to apply for Irish licenses so we are effectively starting over. We're debating getting an automatic. Is there a premium for this?
From an insurance perspective are there cars we should be avoiding, as we will be learner drivers? Don't mind if the car is new or secondhand. Looking at a Toyota Auris, but like crossover SUV style too (Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sorento). Our key worry is budget, particularly the insurance premiums. Budget: €20-25K; car mainly for city commute, weekend excursions; something that would fit 2 adults, 2 kids and a dog.
Aidan: On US licences: you need to check with the licensing authority in Ireland on what is required in your case because it can be a bit complicated.
There should not be too noticeable a loading (if any) for an automatic. The Sorento is a lot bigger than the Tucson. The equivalent Hyundai is the Santa Fé. I think you would fare better in something like a Tucson or Sportage auto but they will be rare. Look for a VW Tiguan and a Honda CR-V, too.
Eddie: Quite a choice there, so I won't add to an excellent list. But please make sure you check on your specific driving licence situation as it might not be as straightforward as it appears.
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.