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Car Buyers' Guide: Plenty of choice for second car
By Jack Biddle • 07/09/2014
After years of compromising, Doug, a tramping enthusiast, and keen golfer June are in the market for a second car.
"While it has worked reasonably well up till now, we would much prefer having the independence of having our own transport rather than rely on others offering a pickup and drop home service," says Doug.
Requirements are enough room for the golf clubs or tramping gear and preferably an automatic.
"The second car would more than likely be used for the golf course run and probably travel less than 10,000km per year," says Doug.
The Budget: $5500
While there may be a lot of vehicles to choose from, I have to say this is one of the hardest market segments to buy into.
Odometer readings can be extremely high for some popular late model vehicles and the risk levels increase if past service histories are unknown.
First, we need to narrow the field down to what type of vehicles should suit your requirements. A three- or five-door small hatchback is a strong contender provided the rear seats can fold adequately for the golf clubs. If you have limited driving then engine size can also be reduced but don't drop below a 1.3-litre engine with an auto transmission.
Safety features are not going to be top shelf but you should get a couple of airbags and ABS braking at least.
For your budget you'd get a 2004 with a 1.3-litre engine. Possible compromises are high odometer reading the later the model, or a three-door may be cheaper than a five-door.
The Vitz is the used import name for basically the same vehicle.
It may be worth a visit to your local Toyota dealer on the off chance they may have recently traded an Echo/Vitz that they have serviced regularly in the past.
It's a popular make and model which is often reflected in the asking prices.
Daihatsu is part of the Toyota family and you'd get a 2005 1.3-litre car. It's a vehicle that found favour with some of the older generation when sold new in NZ which in your case is a very good reason to consider buying.
They were also a popular past rental with some companies, which confirms a good reliability record. Boon is the name given to used import versions.
The 2005 1.8-litre five-door is a step up in both engine and body size, which may offer some better options at times.
Certainly any longish journeys out of town with passengers would be done in a little more comfort.
In 2005, it was a brand on the up and didn't command quite the same appeal and price levels on the new car market as some of the more popular mainstream brands with similar specification levels.
Those price differences can still be reflected on the used car market currently, which can be a plus for buyers.
Study prices and odometer readings to gain a handle on where the market is in your price range. Be prepared to negotiate the asking price.