Time to look forward -- thousands facing tough decision on car buying
NOW is not the time to look back. It is the time to look forward.
It does appear that 2014 may be the first in a long time in which there will be something to look forward to.
It is certain that 2013 was one to forget. So let us just do that.
For tens of thousands there may be the chance to buy new or newer next year.
All the indications are that there are two broad groups out there -- those who can afford to buy -- and those who can't afford, but will have to buy.
Speaking with the likes of BMW, Mercedes and Audi, there is no doubt that a lot of people are going to buy an executive car next year. Not just small execs, but pricey larger ones.
That is one half of Ireland's 2014.
Then there are thousands of people who will have to somehow find the money to keep themselves mobile. I don't think it is generally realised just how old and battered so many cars have become.
People are desperate, and are urgently seeking out newer models before their own caves in and presents them with a massive repairs bill. They are snapping up imports because there are few indigenous used motors around. They need to be careful. As we revealed last week, there are unscrupulous people out there selling cars with 90,000 miles wiped off the clock. Only buy from reputable outlets and have your vehicle thoroughly checked out before handing over a cent.
Also be careful not to over- commit on repayments if you do a finance deal. It is so easy to believe you can mange an extra €100 a month. Make absolutely certain you can.
This might not sound like a good time of the year to really think about what you need.
But over the next two weeks, you will have plenty of time to check stuff out and to take a realistic look at what it will take to keep a newer car on the road compared with what your current one costs.
At least you are looking forward.