Selling your car ? Q & A from Money Doctors’ column in Irish Daily Star 21st September 2023

Q. I am driving the proverbial gas guzzler. It is a big car ( 3.3 litre bought in 2008 ) and apart from the tax ( € 1200 ) the petrol consumption is heavy on the pocket – 18 miles per gallon ( 16 litres per 100 kms) Is it worth my while going for a PCP scheme and buying a new car ? I have nt worked out what I would be saving but I am sure it could be justified. Can you help ? Damien – Portarlington Co Laois

A. A very thorny question Damien. The car is possibly the worst depreciating asset you could buy. 2008 was also such a bad year as the following year, car tax was cheaper and the actual cars were cheaper again than the previous year’s model. The question therefore is by swapping to a 2 litre car, you could not only find the car tax up to € 1,000 a year cheaper but the petrol/diesel or even electric consumption could be a quarter of your current cost. Personal Contract Plans ( PCPs) are one way of buying a new car with c. 25% to 30% deposit, repaying relatively small repayments over a 3 year period at the end of which, you could hand the car back, pay a lump sum to buy out the contract or roll it over and take possession of a new model… a never-ending loan ! Your car is getting older, nearer the scrapheap plus you have the annual NCT examination to do…it might be worth popping into the garage at least to run through the figures. Make sure its part of your budget, you can afford it and does not put you over that 35% in total financial commitments threshold of net monthly income… if you are over this threshold ( includes mortgage / rent, personal loans, visa card payments etc`) save instead and forget the car.


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