What car should I get for my commute?
FIRST off this week, apologies for not getting to all your queries online. It was just impossible — and a shocking flu didn’t help. Please feel free to re-send the ones we missed.
I am a graduate (24) who has just got an IT position on the west side of Dublin but it means either renting there or commuting from my home in the midlands. I favour commuting for now. Could you recommend a car? My budget is €8,000/€10,000 max. I would be much obliged because I haven’t a clue where to start and my family just has an old banger for getting around locally.
Aidan: If you commute you almost certainly need a diesel. You are going to rack up big mileage so focus on buying something with a full service record and reasonable mileage. It is best to stick with volume sellers as you will have more choice. Look for a Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi. Forget specification and buy the best one you can. You might just sneak into the first of the newer shape 2011-plate models. A Toyota Auris 1.4 D4D will do the business too. It’s reliable, but you need to get a good one and maintain it properly for it to service you well. I am going against my earlier advice to look for a volume model but I will make an exception for the Mitsubishi Lancer. Fill it with diesel and drive it on. Basic motoring but frills are no use if they spend their time on the side of the road. If you can squeeze the budget out to €10,000, you will have better choice and buy a younger car which should have lower mileage and may be in better condition. It’s worth considering even though I realise money might be tight.
Eddie: Can you arrange to give someone else a lift on a daily/regular basis? I know of several cases where doing so halves the commute fuel bill. You say you are on the west side of Dublin so that’s a help but it is still 150km a day or so and that will take its toll on you and your car. Aidan’s choices are excellent as ever but let me add another: A Mazda3 (12-reg maybe) diesel. With rents so high commuting makes sense but please bring a mechanic – pay him/her – with you when you feel you’ve got your car. Buy from a trusted outlet and pay for a year’s warranty if you have to.
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