What car should I buy for my 30,000 mile a year commute?

I recently changed jobs and will now be required to commute 30,000 miles per year, compared to previously 7000 miles. I have a 2015 Ford Focus which I purchased new before changing jobs that currently has 18,000 miles on the clock. I've been thinking about selling and getting something older but more comfortable (automatic, SUV/estate) for the commute. I'm worried about the timing of when to do this, should I change quickly and keep value in the Focus (as the mileage will rapidly increase) or is there an 'optimal' time to do it?

Other than for the comfort, would you recommend this is a good idea in terms of reliability and value of an older vehicle rather than new? I've never owned a second hand or non-company car before so not sure what to expect. I will have a budget of £15,000 if there are any recommendations you could give.

Asked on 27 January 2017 by David Telford

Answered by Honest John
If you paid list price for what is now a 1 year old Focus it will have already depreciated by about 40%. (Though obviously if you got a 20% discount it will only have depreciated by about 20%.) Whether it can stand up to 30,000 miles per year depends on which engine it has. Changing to an older automatic will have a fuel economy penalty. In my experience, a 60mpg manual is a 50mpg auto. And changing to older means that the emissions kit such as the EGR and DPF need replacing earlier. The best I ever did was a properly calculated 63mpg over 8,000 miles in a 2012 BMW 320dED (once I saw 82mpg on the meter over 250 motorway miles). BMW's N47 diesel engine had some timing chain tensioner problems, but these seem to have been largely over by the F30 model.
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