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Waggoning the dog

Our most pressing need when buying a car, over above the usual issues of economy, safety, eco-friendliness, visibility, etc. etc., is how to accommodate our large rescued greyhound-cross. We go on very long journeys about once a month and it is essential, I think, that he can lie down in comfort, and not with having to keep his legs bent. He stands 28" (71cm) at the shoulder and is 42" (107 cm) from his nose to the beginning of his tail. At the moment we have a car with a pretty big boot but would like a smaller one that is more economical to run and easier to park. Should we buy new or second-hand, given that we have the cash? We are the kind of people who have always bought their cars quite old, for the equivalent (of prices now) of about £3,000 - £4,000, choosing tough and durable models, and then driven them until they develop major problems, and then saying goodbye. We don't, really truly, care about cars that much and this seems the cheapest way to drive. Now, however, new cars are getting cheaper and cheaper, and there are many, many discounts on them. We actually have funds to buy new - but is this now a better idea than buying a 2-3 year old car?

Asked on 7 February 2009 by

Answered by Honest John
I now try to include as many boot dimensions as I reasonably can in road tests and also show a photo of the boot with the seats folded so site visitors can see how flat the floor is. I think you need an estate with the seats folded. But, uncaged, this is a lot of animal to fly forward if you ever suffer a frontal impact. Could easily kill both front seat occupants. Yes, £3k - £4k gets you a 2005 Mk II Focus estate. No point in spending a lot on a new car that will get 'dogged'. You might even consider an ex police Focus estate converted into a dog patrol vehicle. They sell for £1,000 - £2,000 at West Oxfordshire Motor Auctions on Tuesday nights. One final point, as long as Sterling remains 30% - 50% lower than it was in 2007, and as long as most new cars are imported, there is no way today’s low prices for new cars can possibly be maintained.
Dear Honest John,

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