Motoring advice: Help! I'm new to buying cars and feel most of the dealers I speak to use it to their advantage
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'm in my early 30s and have had a full Irish licence since March. I have a Citroen C4 hatchback 2012 - well specced. I do not owe anything on it. I am new to the motor industry and feel most of the dealers I speak to recognise this and use it to their advantage. Should I try and upgrade my car, which would always mean that I have a good new car, or treat this as my first car and don't worry about its resale value? Please advise of some good alternatives. I'd like an automatic transmission.
Aidan: Ask yourself, what are your motoring needs for the next three years, and does your car serve those needs? If it does, how much is it likely to cost to move into your ideal next car? Rough figures are fine. If the amount sounds a lot, it might make more sense for you to change to something fresher now and schedule a change every three years or so.
This is a good idea for someone who is somewhat dispassionate about cars and wants to mitigate headaches from fixing things that go wrong as cars age. Automatic transmissions are a rare find in the family hatch segment but the Toyota Auris hybrid is one solution for you. Hybrids are growing in popularity. If the used car market remains as receptive to hybrids as is currently the case, you might find your future cost-to-change is reasonable in the broad scheme of things.
Also, look at a petrol Golf. A few of them came with the automatic DSG gearbox.
Eddie: I think you'd do well to trade it in against a Toyota Auris hybrid if you can afford to do so. That will give you a more modern car and an 'automatic' gearbox. That will also place you favourably for your subsequent deal when the change won't involve as big a step up.