Motoring Advice: What should I go for with a budget of €40,000?
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'
Budget: €40k. No trade in. Annual mileage: 10,000km. Size of car required (number of seats): two - four seats. I'll be 40 next year and looking to treat myself to a new car. It won't be used as my daily commuter as I have a 2008 Toyota Avensis 2.0 D4D. Instead, it will be used at weekends and the odd week day by my wife. It will replace our current second car. For the past 10 years we've clocked up about 10k/year on the second car. We really like the Mercedes brand and, in particular, the CLS 220. The UK seems to have a lot more choice, so I'm thinking I may be able to pick up a 2016 model next summer within my €40k budget? Any common issues or faults I should watch out for with the CLS 220? Once the warranty has expired, I'd like to do most of the maintenance (oil change, brake pads etc) myself like I've done for the Avensis. Is it likely something I can continue to do with a modern Mercedes?
Aidan: I have no way of determining your competence with servicing a Mercedes but if I was spending €40,000, I would earmark a few euro every year to get it looked after professionally if for no other reason than it offers recourse in the case of any accidents. I also think that I would feel weird leaving behind a €40,000 car in favour of a nearly 10-year-old Avensis. As for importing the car, there is a ready-made answer in another question this week and the same rules apply. Honestly, I reckon you would do well to go back to the drawing board. What happens if your Avensis develops something terminal in the near-term and you have blown all your money on an import that also needs more work than you initially envisaged and/or are capable of handling? My advice: buy yourself something nice for commuting. A CLS is a fine choice but I'd have a more up-to-date E-Class with that money. Flog the Avensis and get a petrol MINI Cooper S as the second car.
Eddie: We don't wish to be party poopers but the facts are you are getting a bit carried away with your 'dream' car. It is our job to help you protect your money. I'd compromise. Why not buy a lovely Mercedes C-Class saloon for half or three-quarters of the €40,000? You could certainly commute in the C-Class if you had to. I'd sell the Avensis and get myself a really well-specced Toyota Auris. That way you have a posh car and a smart practical car. Sorry to burst your bubble but that's my call. Let us know what you decide.
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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.