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Should I buy new or second-hand with up to €30k?

I'm thinking of trading in my car for scrappage at the moment before some of the deals end and I am thinking of spending €25k - €30k.

I have been looking at the Renault Laguna and Opel Insignia for the scrappage instead of a second-hand car. I am looking for something with a decent boot and a bit of poke in it as I'm upgrading from a Corsa!

After thinking about it for a while I then thought about maybe going for a second-hand car for resale value and depreciation of a new car especially since it's coming close to the end of the year and it'll be a year old in a few months.

On the second-hand range I was considering maybe a BMW 5 Series, Audi A4 or A6 or something similiar in that range. Any suggestions or ideas on what to do or look for in a car to maximise the purchase and keep resale value? I am open to suggestions on other makes and models I may have skipped over. Thanks.

Filed under choosing used car - Asked by Alan Crookes (Portmarnock) - Thu, 12 Aug 2010 23:32


Hi Alan

The scrappage scheme has been good news and as you might have seen today SIMI is calling for an extension of this. Unless this happens, there would be no point in you getting a new car at the end of the year under scrappage because the €1,500 that you would get off this in the case of something like an Insignia would not be as much as you could lose eventually by buying a car later in the year. 

Sure enough, you could buy the Laguna and get €3,000 off. It isn't an awful car, but there really isn't anything remarkable about it and I personally wouldn't spend over €20,000 on one. I actually think the Renault Fluence is a better buy than the Laguna and it costs much less. It is a fine big car and really well equipped. 

However, with your budget we could do a whole lot better. Supposing that you get at least €1,000 for your Corsa, then you still have a generous budget. There is always the temptation to look at the German cars and as long as you realise that these can get pricey to service and run as they get older, they can be a great buy. 

You have a staggering amount of choice. For sheer ease of ownership I have noticed that Lexus IS models are really good value now. You can get a 2008 IS 220d for under €25k and that would be a pretty nice car to own. Here is an example. 

If you were buying new or almost new, this 2010 Subaru Legacy diesel is also within your budget. 

However, you could go a little larger and get yourself a 2007 BMW 520d. This example is from a main dealer and has tiny mileage and would be a really nice car to own. It has done just 20,000km and is an automatic too with a nice spec for just €28,000. I would find it very hard to pass up on this car to be honest. You could opt for one with a manual gearbox and get lower road tax, but to be honest, this is where my money would go.

I hope this helps

Answered by: Complete Car Adviser

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