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Name not supplied ASKED THE GUIDE

Trading in to trade up

WE ARE looking at trading in our 1997 EL Falcon wagon for a car valued around $17,000 to $18,000. We have looked at the Holden Astra and really liked it, but for that price range we're wondering whether we are better off getting a new ``smaller'' car such as the Fiesta?

I CAN'T really give you a definitive answer because many factors can affect your decision. If you buy a new smaller car, the Fiesta, you have to be sure it will be big enough to transport your family. You will also suffer the depreciation that affects all new cars in the first year of ownership, but you will have the new-car smell and the coverage of the full warranty. If you buy a secondhand car you run the risk of having problems simply because it has been on the road for a time before you buy it. For me, the big advantage is you can get into something that is bigger and better equipped for the same money.