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 qualify for the disabled passenger scheme. I drive a Mercedes E220d (162 reg) and drive 12,000km a year (current mileage is 20,290 km). I enjoy my comfort and my technology but avoid paying for extra spec. I need a saloon, and the front passenger seat needs to allow flexibility for accessibility by my disabled family member. Lots of leg-space is needed - and the boot needs to facilitate a big wheelchair - so, very roomy. I have two issues to consider before changing my car in July (for a 182 reg).
1. Is hybrid now the way to go now? If so, which make/model is best?
2. Should I consider the UK?
My max budget is €5,000 with my car as trade-in, or I may sell my current car privately. I'm not sure yet.
Aidan: I am not sure how the cost to change will wash out with your disabled passenger scheme but let's say that something akin to your E220d is still attainable. So, a budget somewhere in the mid-50s. I realise you are more suited to a petrol car but the E220d is still all the machine you need. Why pivot from it? If you fancy a change, then the Lexus GS300h Luxury hybrid model is where I point you. It's got the interior space you need but double-check the boot to ensure the wheelchair fits comfortably. SUVs are out, so for me, it's another E-Class or the GS.
Eddie: I think you are changing too quickly and will lose a lot of money because €5,000 on top of your own car is in danger of getting diluted in the wash of wheeling and dealing whether you trade in or sell privately. Could you wait another year or 18 months from July? I'm just afraid your hard-earned €5,000 could be wiped out for little gain. If you have to change, do as Aidan suggests with another E-Class - you know the car.
Help us help you
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.