Independent advice desk: Are you unsure about the specifics of your next car purchase? Here’s what the experts say

I’ve been waiting for my new car to be delivered for five months. All I hear is that production problems and semiconductor shortages are causing delays.

Question 1

Should I cancel my order and wait until next year? Or will it get worse by then?

gillian: I assume you regularly contact your dealer who can give you an estimated delivery date. We are fortunate to have a second registration period. So if you’re getting your new car this month or next, a 222 license plate is attractive. However, if it goes into September or beyond, I advise you to wait until the new year.

It is best to discuss your concerns with the retailer. The new stock shortage is global and while some brands are coping better than others, it’s a difficult situation this year.

If you choose to cancel you will receive your order early for 2023 and should be fine for a January/February delivery.

Remember that if you are selling or trading in that new car, a 222 license plate will generally do more than a 221 and can even do more than a 231 if the mileage, spec and condition are right.

Eddie: I would book now for 2023. Things won’t improve that much this year.

question 2

My car was recently sidestepped; is not my fault. It is a five-year-old Renault Megane with a diesel engine and good equipment. The car was parked when the incident happened and I wasn’t in it.

I know it’s going to cost a lot to fix so should I try to save a few bucks and buy a newer car? Or am I being penalized for the state it is in and should I be better off finishing it and then selling it?

gillian: Sorry to hear that, and luckily you weren’t in the car at the time. You could fix the car and keep it, so your only expense is the repair cost. Or if you want to sell, then yes, you have two options.

In good condition and depending on specification, a 2017 Megane can be sold privately for around €13,000 with 100,000km on it. I would advise you to get an estimate for the repair.

Subtract that from the €13,000 and then advertise online for a while at that price. Mention the damage in the ad and offer a quote for the repair to any prospective buyer. If you’re still looking at it after a few weeks, have it fixed and try to sell it again or trade it in for something newer.

The outcome will be similar in monetary terms anyway, it just depends on whether you want to be out of pocket now or later.

Eddie: Brilliant plan. Why did not I think of this?

question 3

I can buy an old Mazda 323 for half that from a neighbor who no longer needs it as they just bought a new Audi. I can also buy a five-year-old Corolla from a local garage, but of course there’s a higher price. My own car, an old Focus, is on its last legs but has served me well. I don’t have a lot of budget so I prefer the 323. What would you advise?

Gillan: If you don’t have a big budget and a neighbor is willing to sell you his car for a good price, then for me it’s the best option.

Neighbors/friends are generally reluctant to sell to people they know unless they are confident to the best of their knowledge that the car they are selling is in good condition.

Mazda, like most Japanese cars, is low in hassle and cheap to run and maintain. The 323 is a great little car. However, a five-year-old Corolla would also be a solid purchase.

Since the car stats are so high you could do better with the 323 in the meantime and then opt for a Corolla or similar if you need it and hopefully the stats have come down a bit.

With any used car there will always be additional costs so weigh these up including service costs (should be serviced by a workshop), NCT due date, road tax costs, tyres, etc.

Eddie: I would risk the Mazda. Little risk. Just get someone to give him really good service/walk by.

question 4

I want a hybrid for my next car. I am giving my old Honda Civic to my younger brother as he has 140,000km on the clock and needs some work. I have €30,000 to spend between savings and a loan I can get. What would your top 3 be?

gillian: Coming from a Honda, I’m happy to say that my top two choices are from Toyota and hopefully are up your road.

I’ll start with the Corolla 1.8 Hybrid because with your €30,000 you get brand new Luna trim so you’re not spending money on a used car which is very expensive at the moment.

For just over budget but not by much (€31,880), Toyota has my second pick: the CH-R 1.8 Hybrid. Not only does this introduce you to the world of hybrids, but it also gets you into compact SUV territory. His style doesn’t suit everyone, but I’m a big fan.

After that, the choice of new hybrids in your price range is limited. So it might be worth looking at some used options, e.g. B. a Lexus CT 200H.

I would recommend this on a smaller budget as they were discontinued in 2021 and are a little dated in my opinion if your money’s worth. It would be a great car for someone with 10,000 to 20,000 euros.

A Lexus IS 300H is a larger car with good specifications and looks elegant. You would be looking at a 2018 model in it. Suzuki has also released a couple of new hybrids in your price range that might be worth checking out.

Eddie: Corolla hybrid. Glob.

question 5

My daughter is selling her five year old petrol Audi A3 with 52,000 km on the clock. She no longer commutes and works from home most days and can use my Golf if she needs it some days.

I don’t know how to sell the car as I don’t want a lot of people hailing the door.

Should I sell it to the workshop? What price should I ask? Everyone has a different idea.

gillian: It’s a great low mileage car so my first choice is to sell it privately for the best value. However, that extra money could come at the cost of your time and patience.

Since inventory is low and customer demand is high, any retailer will happily pick it up. They must have it in salable condition and will take this into account when quoting you a price, as well as including some profit from the transaction.

Depending on the equipment (manual/automatic, 1.0/1.4/1.5, Base/SE/SLine, 3/4/5 doors) and your low kilometers, I estimate that you will be offered around €16,000 or €17,000.

If you advertise it on sites like DoneDeal or Carzone, you should be asking around €3,000 more depending on the model and expect to get most of it again. Indicate that you only accept phone calls and no text messages.

Make an appointment in a well-lit area near your home and have someone with you. If they want to take it for a test drive, ask someone to accompany them if you don’t want to do it yourself.

Selling a car privately comes with some pain, but the financial rewards are well worth it, especially with a popular car like an Audi A3.

Eddie: Sell to the garage. You would jump sky high at the chance of getting one like this.

Gillian Keogh is editor of a monthly guide to the value of used cars, published by the Motor Trade Publishers team. The team offers a car appraisal service to automotive dealerships, insurance companies and financial institutions Independent advice desk: Are you unsure about the specifics of your next car purchase? Here’s what the experts say

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