Thursday 17 January 2019

'I'd love to go fully electric or hybrid. Our budget is around €25k. What do you recommend?'

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

Toyota Prius+
Toyota Prius+

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.

We are thinking about buying in the new year (getting married in September). We have one car as we are central and have good public services. It's a 2007 Volkswagen Golf (12,000km/year). We will pass it to a family member. We will have a three-year-old child when we are buying but are thinking we may have two more. I despise MPVs so SUVs would be my preference for height when taking car seats in or out. Ideally I'd like to fit a crate in the boot for the dogs while having the same space again for buggies or shopping or whatever. It would be ideal to have a seven-seater where the two extra seats fold. I'd love to go fully electric or hybrid. Our budget is around €25k.

Gillian: Best of luck with the big day. Well done on your planning. I like your thinking on the folding seats - they will future-proof you. The hybrid is not large enough to cover all body styles just yet and the five/seven-seat option is extremely limited. Toyota might just have your back here with the Prius+. Around €25k should get you into a 161/162 model, but these are scarce.

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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