Wednesday 25 April 2018

Motoring Advice: What's a good petrol-hybrid family car to suit my €15-€20k budget?

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Stock photo

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 drive a 2002 Audi A4 petrol (bought 2011). I've added 25K miles (now 108K). I know it is worth close to nothing now.

I have a baby whose buggy takes quite a lot of space in the boot and I'm planning on a second one.

My ideal car would be a 5 to 6 years old, medium mileage, well-maintained estate/SUV/electric vehicle for €15k-€20k. It would suit my weekend shopping and greater Dublin area trips and could accommodate my 3/4 times a year to the west coast. Unfortunately, such a car does not exist and won't be around for another 7-8 years.

I identified, as an alternative, the Skoda Octavia VRS petrol 2.0 Combi (2010-2014). It would give me a little bit of luxury to enjoy the 5k I drive each year. Could you please recommend some reputable dealers who could import it for me? Could you recommend a good alternative petrol-hybrid family car to suit my €15-€20k budget?

Aidan: Sorry to be blunt about this but you are trying to over-engineer a solution. I think you need to double-down on a spacious, petrol family car and eschew the performance part by sticking with a regular 1.2-litre petrol Octavia. Treat yourself to a Style model. Better still, although the power might seem like anathema to your 1.8-litre A4, the new 1.0-litre petrol engine from Skoda is a treat. See if you can get an ex-demo Ambition model or one of the cars coming back from the rental market. A lot has changed since your car was built. Think about it like this: the car you drive today is the car that you trade in or sell in a few years' time. It makes sense to stick with something for which there is a receptive market. Or, simply buy a Toyota Prius. Keep it simple.

Eddie: You are running yourself up cul-de-sacs, I think. I agree with Aidan. Buy a Toyota Prius here from a reputable dealer. The car will last a long time and will give you best return on your greater Dublin area drives.


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.

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