Life Motoring

Sunday 21 April 2019

'We are clueless about cars and uneasy about the prospect of getting the wrong buy. Help!'

Lexus CT200h
Lexus CT200h

Car-value expert Gillian Keogh teams up with Motoring Editor Eddie Cunningham to help you make the right choice with your next purchase. Gillian is Editor of a monthly guidebook on the values of used cars produced by the Motor Trade Publishers team. The team supplies a car-valuing service to the motor trade, insurance companies and finance houses.

We’re a Dublin couple looking to buy our first car with a budget of €4,000-€12,000. So far our only preference is for automatic transmission and a regular 5-seater size. We’ve no children or pets, but would ideally like folding seats so we can transport items around if needed. We plan to use it primarily for shopping, possibly short work commutes, all in the city with occasional trips around Ireland on weekends. Because we’re new drivers, and not yet confident, we value ease of driving and appreciate any advice you might have on how useful the new tech like rear cameras and sensors might be. Any advice to get us started on the journey would be much appreciated. We are clueless about cars and uneasy about the prospect of getting the wrong buy. Annual mileage 8,000km; no current car.

Gillian: I have the perfect car: a Lexus CT 200h. It’s a self-charging hybrid, meaning it has both a petrol and electric engine. Your running costs will be low, and the higher end of your budget will allow for a 2011 when the car was first introduced. I drive this model myself and the reversing camera is great. Easy to follow and a large, clear screen. It also comes with parking sensors to the front. The Toyota Auris Hybrid is similar but opens your budget up a lot more. Prices start at around €9,000 for a base spec 2011 older model to around €13,000 for a new model 131 Luxury if you could manage it.

Eddie: Instant instinctive answer: Toyota Auris petrol or hybrid. But your mileage is so low would you consider a really fresh all-electric Nissan LEAF? Two charges a week would easily cater for your mileage. Low running costs, reasonable room and a nice size for you both. If electric doesn’t suit go Auris.

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.

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