Thinking of buying a car?


Buying a car can be a confusing business so we have tried to make things a little easier writes Geraldine Herbert


I want something economical?
Citroen C4 Cactus
With concept car styling, the C4 Cactus is what Citroën do best and it is a bold response to the changing needs of families. It is extremely cheap to run, looks great and is easy to drive. Comfortable; cool and clever the Cactus is the one to go for if you want to stand out from the crowd. The 1.6 engine promises an incredibly healthy average of up to 3.1l/100km or 91mpg and CO2 emissions are just 89g/km


I want to go electric?
Renault Zoe
The Zoe is good to drive and the price makes it the first truly affordable electric car. It is brilliantly suited to urban and city driving , the ride is comfortable and handling is good but it is so silent it can surprise pedestrians. Boasting a range of up to 210km, the first production electric vehicle with this type of a range it would be an ideal second car  and At €17,490, plus €49 a month (5,000km a year over three years) for battery leasing, the Zoe makes a good case for itself


I want something fast?
Ford Fiesta ST 
On the right road the Fiesta ST is one of the best hot hatches in a very long time, take it on a twisty back road and what this car is capable of becomes apparent. There is unbelievable grip, incredible handling and a steering wheel that simply speaks to you. When that low grumble of the EcoBoost engine emanates from the tailpipes you wont be able to resist it and at €26, 290 it is a bargain!.


I want something big?
Skoda Octavia
The Skoda Octavia makes a super family car. It’s elegant on the outside and cavernous on the inside.  Available in three specification levels, Active, Ambition and Elegance  prices for the petrol Octavia start at €18,995 and €21,745 for the diesel range


I want something stylish?
Jaguar F-Type
The F type is a serious style statement and the engine’s growl is sure to turn heads but it not only looks fabulous it drives like a dream. On the downside it’s not cheap or particularly practical and there is virtually no rear visibility but press the start button and all reservations disappear. The F-type is a pure driving machine, without a dash of practicality and is the perfect car for those who love driving and looking good while doing it.


I want something small for the city?
Hyundai i10
Hyundai’s new i10 is a grown up and sophisticated interpretation of a classic city car that blends reliability, practicality and economy with smart styling and a focus on refinement. With a reputation for excellent reliability, a five year unlimited warranty and a price tag of just €11,995 you certainly get lots for your money.


I want something safe?
Volvo V40

It is impossible not to love the V40. Stunning looks, delicious interior, incredible technology, divine seats and the way it drives, the V40 has the potential to change your view of Volvo forever.


I want an affordable convertible?
Opel Adam Rocks
Image is what this car is all about and this fashion statement is clearly aimed at the generation of urbanites who want to stand out from the crowd. The list price is high, room in the back is tight and the boot is minuscule but singletons will relish in its individuality and fitted with a very impressive one litre turbo engine it is good fun to drive. It won’t be to everyone’s taste but Opel may have finally delivered an Adam that truly ROCKS


I want something the kids will love?
Ford B-Max
Ford has always made vehicles that are great to drive, and the B-Max is no exception. It is versatile, practical, fun to drive and is a great choice as a compact family car plus kids will love the doors!


I want loads of space?
VW Passat Estate
Crossovers and SUVs may boast decent space and practicality to warrant their credentials as ideal family vehicles but if you want a proper load-lugger it is hard to beat an estate. The VW Passat Estate blends practicality with the classy style of the saloon. But the real trump card of this new Passat is the sheer quality and refinement and it gives rivals a serious run for their money


I am on a very tight budget?
Dacia Sandero
It’s hard not to be impressed with the Sandero. You get a huge amount for your money.  And yes if you are stepping from a Fiesta, an Adam or a Clio into a Sandero you’ll probably be distinctly underwhelmed but once behind the wheel it drives fine, offers plenty of room and certainly deserves to send ripples through the Budget car market.


I want something that will keep me on the road in winter?
Fiat Panda 4X4
It is not long behind the wheel before you are completely seduced by the charms of the Panda. We loved the Panda 4×4, this nimble and robust little Fiat is fun to drive and cheap to run. While you may never need to venture off road it’s still good to know that this  little car will bravely plough on through the worst of what the Irish weather can throw at it. So for drivers who want a city car with the all-terrain ability of an SUV the Panda 4×4 is the best around.


And if I won the lottery?
BMW i8
The i8 is not designed for everyone, the price is eye watering, the seats in the back are tiny and the boot is ridiculously small plus those doors need such a space to open in that they are actually the most impractical thing about it. But this is not what the i8 is about, it is a futuristic car packed cutting edge technology that  is destined to be the gene-pool from which all future cars draw inspiration from, At a time when everyone seems to be clamouring for lower emissions and more efficiency BMW’s i division have delivered a car that is living proof that there is still a sustainable and fun to drive future for the sports car.


Geraldine Herbert

13th April, 2015


Author: Geraldine Herbert

Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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