Can you recommend a large family car and a second runabout vehicle?

My wife and I both retired recently. We drive a 2003 Audi A3 and a 2004 Audi TT 3.2. Both cars are showing signs of ageing, such as engine management “lightitis”, high road tax and poor fuel economy. Our needs have changed as both cars are only doing short journeys for 90 per cent of the year. We need room for a labrador, five people and a push chair in one car, and a spare runabout for when we want to get about separately or just walk the dog. Assuming each car generates £3000 through private sales, and we allow £10,000 cash for the family car and £3000 for the runabout, what cars would you suggest we look at?

Asked on 21 December 2013 by PS, Ascot

Answered by Honest John
At auction last week a current model Suzuki Alto sold for £2500 and a Hyundai i10 1.2 for £3900. That's the kind of car you need to be looking at as a runabout. Don't worry about 'free' tax, because tax for a Band B car is only £20 a year anyway. For your £10,000 big car, a Toyota Avensis 1.8i Valvematic Multidrive S Station Wagon is well within budget, or a Mondeo estate, or a Skoda Superb estate. But these will be in a higher CO2 tax bracket and diesel is best avoided.
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