Should I drive my Golf until it dies?
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 don't know what to do about changing my car. I recently got a promotion, which requires commuting 170km a day. I have a 2010 Golf 1.2TSi petrol. It has done only 79,000km. It's quite good on fuel at €60 a week. Should I change as it's pushing on in years? I recently went to look at a Kia Sportage. The dealer is giving me €8,000 for my car and dealing at €24,000 for the €32,000 Platinum trim. However, my concern is, will it be as good on fuel as the Golf? The dealer says it'll do 55mpg. Or should I drive my Golf til it dies? I'd love some advice as I'm torn.
Aidan: Your cost to change of €3,000 a year is damn good. Your new annual mileage is more than 40,000km, so you are firmly in diesel territory. You could test the fuel efficiency of your Golf for one month to see how it fares and potentially run it into the ground. However, I think you will find that a diesel will be more fuel-efficient on long motorway spins. Besides, once things start going wrong, you are faced with ongoing comparisons between the merits of fixing the car you have and moving to something else. The Sportage is brilliant, absolutely no doubt about it, but look at the Hyundai Tucson too. It has a five-year warranty, but it is for unlimited mileage, whereas the Sportage expires at seven years or 150,000kms, which is a little over three years for you. It wouldn't turn me off the Sportage, though. It depends on how long you intend on keeping the car. You will likely breach the mileage threshold of a PCP deal, so go hire purchase instead.
Eddie: Why do you need an SUV? Is it because of your lifestyle needs or is it just because you can and because everyone is buying an SUV? If you are, follow Aidan's advice and try those two motors. My instinct is that a diesel saloon, a VW Passat in particular, would be a better option for you. Also look at the Ford Mondeo, Toyota Avensis, Opel Insignia and definitely look at the Mazda6. Drive a couple before making your decision.
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.