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Second Cars – what should you be considering?

By raccars Published

Hyundai i30

We look at options for a second car on the driveway

For some it’s a luxury – for others it is a necessity. For most, a second car needs to combine practicality and reliability with great value – probably a car where you can be a bit less ‘badge aware’ than normal for that weekend trip to the country or to the children’s football game.

There is clearly no single ‘second car’ that suits every need, so we decided to look at three different categories:

Small town run-around

The brief we set here was for a reliable, compact and low-cost four seater that can sit outside all week but be relied upon to start first time every time at the weekend:

• Ford Focus – I know we seem to recommend this car nearly every week but it really does the job. Choose an earlier Mark 2 version for the best used value – Here’s a lovely 2010 example with less than 55,000 on the clock from RAC Approved Dealer Grimsdyke Service Station - View This Vehicle

• Hyundai i30 – I see lots of these on the roads nowadays proving their popularity as a great run-around, what about this 2007 example reduced to under £4000 - View This Vehicle

• Mini – remember that the ‘new’ Mini is now well over 10 years old so there is plenty of used choice available. Go for a late 2000s Cooper spec and you get a cracking 1.6 litre engine that returns over 50 miles to the gallon – RAC Approved Dealer Ealing Motors have this stunning example for under £6000 - View This Vehicle

Going out of town – or down to the tip

Sometimes you need a practical answer to the problem of “how am I going to get it all in there?” While your heart might turn to a trendy 4x4, your head (and wallet) should probably turn to an estate:

• Skoda Octavia Estate – Since Skoda became wholly part of VW Group back in 2000 they have enjoyed a surge in popularity. You really can’t go wrong with an Octavia and you get a lot of car for your money. Here is an example under £7000 and with RAC Buysure Guarantee - View This Vehicle

• Volvo V70 Estate – The V70 has been a mainstay on our roads for over 20 years. Look for a 3rd generation model. This 2011 example really ticks all the boxes for under £10,000 - View This Vehicle

• Honda CR-V – now in its 4th generation you get economy, comfort and the sought after VTEC power unit from this compact SUV – with only 30,000 on the clock this 2008 model must surely capture your eye - View This Vehicle

Treating yourself at the weekend

This is where we would all like to be – not a ‘must have’ but rather some choice around how we drive out to the country pub this weekend

• BMW Z3 – for me these are the best value, most stylish soft tops available – for less than £4000 you can get an iconic design with great retro cabin features but BMW build quality – with only 35,000 on the clock and a price tag less than £4000 this would be my top pick -  View This Vehicle

• Audi TT – the Mark 1 version of this classic (available from 1999 – 2006) looks so much better in my eyes than the more recent upgrades, with a surprisingly efficient 1.8 litre engine that pushes out 180 horsepower – Here is a great example recently reduced to £4295 - View This Vehicle

• Mercedes SLK – just £6000 could get you in to a mid-2000s SLK with that wonderful folding hardtop roof. Chose the 2.3 litre version (badged the 230) for best value motoring. This example in black metallic paint and cream interior is a show stopper -  View This Vehicle

Wishing you a week of happy, safe and economical driving

Robert Diamond

Managing Director, RAC Motoring Services

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