Motoring Advice: My car sits in the airport a lot. What would you recommend?
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 cover relatively low mileage as my work means half my life is away from home and my car sits in the airport a lot. My current car is a Suzuki Grand Vitara. It has been a trusty, reliable, comfortable, go-anywhere car. It is great for dragging large sporting gear (golf bags, fishing etc) around the country with a big boot. But it struggles to give me 9.5km/litre, tax is high and it is an automatic, which my wife refuses to drive. I'd like to buy a reliable runaround, not as big as the current car. I know my budget is low. In my first searches it seems I should be looking at a one to three-year-old Fiesta, three-year-old Golf or BMW 1, or maybe a five-year-old Audi TT. I would like something different to enjoy. Can you recommend a sporty four-seater that I might be able to get a good trade-in on or scrappage deal to get me away from the gas guzzler? Budget trade-in plus €8k-€10K. Is Scrappage an option? Annual mileage 20,000m; size of car required estate/collapsible rear seats or SUV. Present car: 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara 1.9L petrol 180,000km.
Aidan: Scrappage is an unlikely option and your car is not worth a great deal. But you are shopping at a good time to get a decent bargain so look for a Skoda Octavia Combi. You will most likely come across 1.6-litre diesel Ambition models; on the off-chance a 2-litre raises its head, give it serious consideration. As for another SUV, look at a Ford Kuga or a Toyota RAV4. Also give serious consideration to a Dacia Duster. It will give you everything you need but might be a tad smaller than you might prefer.
Eddie: It's simple for me. A good used Dacia Duster diesel. Not the most refined car in the world, but it admirably fits your budget and requirements. Popular car on the used market.
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