Used Car Advice: “I’ve got about 7k for a new used car!”

Introducing the second feature in our new series: Used Car Advice. After our first customer, Clare, heeded our advice last week and purchased a 04 Nissan Primera we were contacted by Aoife who was likewise looking for a FREE Cartell History Check in return for some advice!

Aoife, and husband Dermot, are living in Westmeath and are currently driving two cars. Aoife is driving a 97 VW Polo 1.0 with 124,000 miles on the clock. Dermot is driving a 02 Golf 1.4. The plan is to give Aoife the Golf and find Dermot a new used car. Their budget is about 7k.

Because her vehicle is already 14 years old it is unlikely any garage will accept it as a trade-in or part exchange. Aoife could try to sell it privately – and there are similar vehicles on the market for around €500 – but in all honesty it’s unlikely she’ll get a buyer for it – especially if there are question marks over whether it’ll pass its next NCT.

Dermot drives about 40 miles per day during the week with one long round trip to Galway every weekend. So we calculate his annual mileage at between 25,000 to 28,000 kms.

So the new car must:

*be economical

*have good residuals (good resale value)

*be reliable

*have low servicing costs

A few options:

The scrappage scheme was designed to take cars like Aoife’s off the road! This government scheme would give Aoife and Dermot a super discount off a brand new vehicle. One option under the scheme is the Opel Corsa – a car which drives well and has triple scrappage.

There’s no mistaking its a nice car and with fuel economy at 53MPG for the petrol version it’s certainly an option. The difficulty for Dermot is that he would be stuck with a petrol aspirated engine which is still about €3k above budget!

07 Opel Corsa (1.3 litre Diesel) €6,950 (59,060 miles)

We spotted a 07 Corsa with low mileage within budget. The best aspect of this vehicle is the diesel engine. This would save Dermot a considerable amount of money and even though a 07 vehicle will fall within the old tax regime the 1.3 litre engine will be relatively reasonable to tax at €310. We think this car is an option.

Class Leader

The VW Golf is a class leader. Its reliability, comfort and handling leave it top of its segment according to virtually all of the experts. The only vehicle that comes close is the Ford Focus – which arguably handles better and has been complimented for its interior design in contrast to the dour-ish Golf. Would Dermot consider getting another Golf – leaving the couple with two versions of the same vehicle?

…Another option entirely

06 Alfa Romeo 147 (1.5 litre Petrol) €6,995 (17,398 miles)

This Alfa model is worth considering. It’s got a lovely fresh interior and we think the car looks good from the outside. Its low mileage is really what attracted us to the car – it should give Aoife and Dermot years of relatively trouble-free driving. On the negative side some drivers don’t like the firm suspension of this model – test drive is important. Also, the 1.5 litre petrol aspirated engine loves trips to the service station for a fill-up! Considering Dermot’s high mileage we couldn’t recommend this as a vehicle for him – but maybe Aoife would be more suited to it.

…Cartell recommends:

07 Ford Focus (1.6 Turbo Diesel) €7,995 (61,639 miles)

The Focus is a super vehicle for the money and its versatility and driveability coupled with great fuel economy (particularly the diesel models) means – generally speaking – it represents one of the best used-car purchases of any vehicle in the market.

It’s got great space, and quality interior, with plenty of power, and is a pleasure to drive, particularly in corners.  We reckon Dermot will save between €800 and €1,000 per year on fuel costs over a comparable petrol.  While it’s a bit over budget we think they might be able to bargain with the sales person – or wait a few months and save a few quid more!

Warning: All used cars require careful consideration before purchase. Get a Cartell.ie check to find out the history of the vehicle. This blog is a general guide only and Cartell.ie is not recommending the purchase of any particular vehicle – just giving some general advice!

If you would like to feature on this page – and get a Free Car History Check in the process – then send us an email for your chance to appear!