I'd like a five-door hatchback. What would you recommend?
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 am changing jobs and wouldn't mind a bit of advice on a new car. I drive a 1999 Toyota Yaris 1-litre petrol with 200,000km. I've had it for nearly 12 years and it's been a great servant (I commute daily via public transport to work). With changing job I need to upgrade to a car that is more fuel-efficient and suitable for a daily round trip of 85km cross-country. I do some urban driving at weekends and a 400km round trip every two months or so. I have a budget of around €10k/€12k and my annual mileage will be around 25,000kms. I have no seating requirements or fuel preferences, but ideally I would prefer a 5dr hatchback.
Aidan: I get a bit of stick from pals in the trade for regularly recommending the Toyota Auris, but it's hard to ignore when its availability is generally excellent nationwide, the dealer franchise is well-established and the product itself is good. Forget best specification. Basic Terra models are fine. Go for the newest, lowest mileage Auris you can find. That will mean concentrating on 2013-plate models and maybe some 2014s. It makes sense for you. For variety, go for a Ford Focus. There are oodles of them so you can be choosy. The same rules apply as with the Auris. Even standard Edge and Edition models are well-kitted.
Eddie: Here's four to choose from: Toyota Auris, Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Honda Civic - all diesels. A fresh Civic with the 1.6-litre diesel would be a decent buy.
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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.