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Marlene ASKED THE GUIDE

What car should I buy?

I need to change my car as I am looking after my two grandchildren and need a medium size car. I have about $18,000 what would you recommend in that price bracket?

Obviously, the safety of your grandkids is the primary concern here, so definitely go for a car with a five-star safety rating. Something with side-curtain air-bags is a good idea, too, as it provides air-bag protection for the rear seats as well as those travelling in the front.

A car with autonomous braking and all the driver and braking aids is also worth the extra investment. That way, you’re less likely to be caught up in a prang in the first place.
Beyond that, Marlene, the world is your oyster with the budget you have, and $18,000 buys some terrific second-hand cars. I’d look at a Toyota Camry, Mazda 6 or a late-model Hyundai Sonata. Remember that the later the build date, the more safety equipment you’ll be buying.

Make sure you find a car that is comfortable for you to drive and that suits the rest of your circumstances. As in, will it fit easily in your garage and can you afford to maintain it and put fuel in it.

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