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'
We are moving back to Ireland from Canada. We will be living rurally and estimate that for work we will need to drive to Dublin (100kms) four days a week max. We have three children, all still in car seats and boosters. We aren't bothered about having a huge car, just one that will meet our needs with some boot space as we always have sports bags and musical instruments in tow. If we could afford a car that would facilitate additional seats, that would be wonderful. We previously had small Toyotas and loved the reliability. When we use Zipcar in Canada the options are usually larger Hyundai SUVs or Jeeps and have liked them. We will be coming home soon and intend to buy straight away. Our budget is €15-€18,000 although we have some flexibility. We've tried to figure out what car we would like but are really unclear.
Aidan: Welcome home (nearly)! Your round-trip and frequent commute to Dublin means you need a diesel. Considering your space requirements and the potential for that space to expand, you need a seven-seater. With a budget of around €18,000, you can buy a great used diesel seven-seat MPV from any of the following; the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso, the Ford S-Max (preferably the 2-litre 140bhp Zetec model), the Peugeot 5008 (1.6 TDi Allure gives you better kit), or the SEAT Alhambra (scarce but a 2.0 TDi S 115 or 140bhp would be ideal). Stretch your budget to more than €20,000 and buy something with low mileage and more warranty.
Eddie: I'd also mention the KIA Sorento diesel (seven-year warranty) and Hyundai Santa Fe seven-seaters. They are big, roomy SUVs with the third row of seats. If you can live with five seats, the game changes. I'm just concerned at lugging those big cars on your daily commute but you don't have much alternative. One leftfield option would be a Skoda Superb Combi (estate) diesel. Well worth a look.
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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.