Is it worth considering crossing the border and paying VRT after?
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'm a 40-year-old single woman living in the suburbs. I use my car mainly for commuting (30km a day) and weekend driving (100km). I do about 10,000km a year. I drive a 1.4 litre petrol, 5dr, 05 Toyota Corolla Terra hatchback, with 150,000km on the clock. I'm looking to trade up to a similar-sized car but have no idea where to start. I Like the Hyundai i20, I30 and the Toyota Yaris and Auris. I'd look at a Kia cee'd too. I want a compact car for parking. Ideally, I'd like to buy new and would consider electric but not sure where to start. Is it worth considering crossing the border and paying VRT after? Budget (including trade-in) is €15,000,
Aidan: Reports that used values in the UK rose by 1.2pc in the first quarter haven't dampened imports here but you require a petrol car and savings could be diminished for one of those. No harm in checking but you should have enough choice here.
A Toyota Auris is ideal for you, even if you think they are pricey. Irrespective of the brand, any new hatchback of a similar ilk will set you back far more than your budget.
Even at €2,000 a year as a cost to change, you need to spend around €26,000 (13 years) to get a new car. It's a lot of money but it's somewhat unavoidable if you want a 2018-plate car.
The Hyundai i20 is quite a large supermini and might just suit you. It's cheaper too. It all depends on how often your three rear seats are occupied. It could be the ideal car. However, I think a Toyota Auris or a Ford Focus 1-litre Titanium are worth pursuing. Your money will go far with a SEAT Leon, too. Look for an SE model.
Eddie: I'd go for the Hyundai i20 because I don't think you need five seats too often but I accept Aidan's absolutely sound priorities. And no, I wouldn't go electric and I wouldn't go UK. Lots of choice here and you'll have back-up if things go wrong.
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