Thinking of buying a new car or upgrading to a newer one?
Car-value expert Gillian Keogh teams up with Motoring Editor Eddie Cunningham to help you make the right choice with your next purchase. Gillian is Editor of a monthly guidebook on the values of used cars produced by the Motor Trade Publishers team. The team supplies a car-valuing service to the motor trade, insurance companies and finance houses
We have a 151 diesel Toyota Corolla and are looking to change next year. Budget between €25 and €30K. We do approx 20,000km a year. We have a one-year-old baby and are hoping to have another soon so we'd like to accommodate two car seats with room for another person in the back without going for a seven-seater. We were hoping to get a new hybrid but I think we might be seriously limiting our options. We are also open to buying a one-year-old car if that would get us what we want within our budget.
Gillian: The obvious answer is to get yourself to your local Toyota dealer and change up to the C-HR 1.8 hybrid. A new Sport model would be at the top end of your budget with a price of €30,400 but if you can get a one-year-old Luna Sport or Sol model, it would be a better option. This is assuming your budget is including your trade-in.
However, its shape might not be 100pc what you want for an adult in the back in between two car seats. With two ISOfix locations in the back, it is fine for little ones, but it may feel cramped for a big child.
The Toyota Prius+ might be a better option - 171 Luxury models are going for €28k to €29k and would suit your needs.
A new-model Peugeot 3008 SUV or Seat Ateca SUV are worth looking at too. Not available in hybrid yet but they have petrol and diesel options and you could go new or one-year-old in both.
Eddie: I'd push for a new Peugeot 3008 SUV, which is all the car you want for your family at this stage. It's nice inside and has great room. I like the SEAT Ateca too, on price especially.
But one really worth thinking about is the KIA Niro plug-in hybrid. It might stretch your upper limit a little but you are into a hybrid, and that seems to be important for you. And it is really well equipped. Give it serious consideration.
We have a KIA Sportage 2013 diesel (170,000km) due for trade-in. We are an almost retired couple and the children have flown the nest, so we're thinking of a Mercedes. Budget of €20,000-ish including trade-in. Annual mileage: approx 20,000kms. Can you please recommend a model (saloon)? We are thinking C-Class. Not interested in A-Class.
Gillian: The new model C-Class C180 petrol sells every bit as well as the C180 diesel, so start there. The model launched in May 14 and you should be able to find a 142 Avantgarde auto in budget.
You have a hugely popular model to trade in or sell privately (if you don't mind the extra work involved), but your kilometre reading is higher than average, so bear this in mind with the money you are hoping to get for it.
If you like the C-Class, also look at a BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 or jump on the hybrid train with the Lexus IS300h. They are all priced around the same and you may not have thought of them.
Eddie: I'd go along with most of that, Gillian. Stick with the Mercedes C-Class. I think I'd go diesel on your mileage but the petrol is a decent alternative, and in these days of uncertainty trade-in future value might swing it for you.
I recently had the Lexus IS300h for a day and I have to say I was really impressed with it. It's a car that's often overlooked. Good value and well-equipped. C-Class diesel or Lexus IS300h for me.
My 80-year-old wife, who has limited mobility, drives a 142 C180 Mercedes automatic petrol (30,000km). She would like to change to a smaller new car with the following: easy to get in and out of, automatic, parking sensors, reversing camera, folding rear seats.
Gillian: Folding rear seats, smaller and with good access sounds like a compact SUV to me. And buying new makes it easy to include parking sensors and reversing camera. The kilometre reading on her current car suggests she does very little driving, so I recommend a petrol and suggest a SEAT Arona as a starting point. The 1.2 SE Auto will mean adding a little something to the money you get for the C180 but we aren't talking a huge amount. If she has something to add to the pot - and I am thinking up to €10k - then the Volkswagen T-Roc 1.5 is a choice. It's where I'd put my money. If she wanted to go posh again, the Audi Q2 is a good choice too, as is BMW X1, both excellent in automatic.
Eddie: I've recommended the Honda Jazz to a few people in similar situations and they've come back delighted with the choice. It has reasonable height, is compact and there are automatic versions.
Not sure of your budget but you won't have to worry much about buying a new one with your low-mileage Merc as a trade-in.
I like the options Gillian outlined too. An automatic Volkswagen T-Roc is a good buy.
I drive a 171 Volvo V40, 1.6 diesel, D2 model. It has just under 15,000km on the clock (approximately 11k/year). I am looking to change to an SUV for the higher seat/entry (need it to be waist-high entry seating), automatic transmission and with heated seats. I'm not currently doing the mileage that necessitates a diesel but am fine with that as an option. Budget €30,000 (including trade-in). Might stretch higher.
I am changing vehicles based on medical advice, hence the waist height (and heated) seats. I am nervous of the new testing due in September, and while I would like to change now I am prepared to wait until January if you think there might be better options.
I'm in a three-year PCP agreement, so I'll carry that forward or pay it off and use a car loan.
Some of the smaller SUVs' seating position is too low (T-Roc) for me (5ft 8in) so it seems a more middle ground SUV is where I will have to look.
Gillian: For the best trade-in, you should stick with the Volvo brand and a used XC60 is a good place to start. The only issue with going used is that finding a model with heated seats might be difficult. You would also need to go back down the years and that can be hard for some. I wouldn't rule out buying now if you are suffering with your current seating.
Here are some new models that will allow you to add heated seats to your order now or January if you decide to wait.
SEAT Ateca 1.4 TSi SE DSG at €30,825 seems to fit in nicely. Good value for money. I'd have no reservations here.
Stretching the budget would get you into the KIA Sportage and Hyundai Tucson. I am thinking something a little fresher for you. Although the Qashqai has been around for a long time, its petrol options make it more appealing.
Skoda's Karoq comes with auto in its Ambition and Style spec.
Eddie: I'd wait until January for several reasons: better choice of petrol and hybrid models, better idea of how this whole new taxation system is going to work on prices, better time to buy - you'll get a whole year as opposed to a few months if you opt for now. So all in all, I'd wait. And come back to us in a couple of months. But something tells me a petrol Qashqai will be top of your list.
My wife and I are moving back from the UK early next year. Keen to take advantage of the VRT rules and hoping to bring back two cars - one for us and one for purposes of selling on after 12 months of having it in Ireland. Car one will be a future family car (baby expected in Feb), budget £15k-€16.5k and hoping to get an 18-month old car, 1.6 litre to 2litre, petrol or diesel, will be city car with one or two longer journeys a month. Have looked at KIA Sportage, Mazda 6 and Hyundai saloon. Any suggestions/recommendations? The second car is purely to bring savings home and to hopefully make decent profit 12 months after returning when we sell. Budget can be stretched to €20k to 22k
Gillian: I strongly suggest you get fully up to speed with VRT exemption regulations. The saloon market is not great here right now, so while you might pick up some deals on a Mazda6 and i40, they might not be the best long-term buy.
If you like the Sportage, go for it. I am not sure you will get an 18-month-old for budget. A 2016 plate may be more realistic. Other popular models to consider are the Hyundai Tucson and Nissan Qashqai. The new Peugeot 3008 is a good seller here and the UK. I suggest you look for one of these.
For car two, if your budget is the remainder of the €20 to 22k (= €3 to 5k), go for something that's hard to get your hands on here and you can enjoy driving for the time you own it. How about a MINI? If you wanted to be a bit more mainstream, look for a Honda Jazz or Skoda Fabia, both always in demand. If you have the larger budget, the UK is a good place to pick up a well-specced Audi, be it an A3 saloon, A4 or A5. I think the A3 in a classy spec would be worth a shot too.
Eddie: On the first car, Gillian has picked excellent options. I'm more concerned with the second. I'm taking your budget to be up to €22k. I'd go with an Audi A4 - always a rock-solid buy. I take it you will use it here over the 12 months before you intend to sell.
Just be careful to check out all the VRT regulations, especially the length of time you have it in England and here before sale.
The Revenue have been helpful in pointing out several rules. Suffice to say, you need to meet a list of requirements. You'd do well to take time to study them on the Revenue website.
Here's one rule: "To qualify, the vehicle must have been in your possession outside the State for at least six months before your transfer to Ireland.
"The vehicle would not qualify if it has not been in use by the reader for at least six months before the transfer to Ireland."
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