C4 Picasso Exclusive Preview

Citroen C4 PicassoThe New Citroen C4 Picasso – A Work of Art at Citroen Dealers

The New Citroen C4 Picasso, revealed at the Paris Motor show in September, arrives at Citroen dealers throughout Ireland from the 1st of December for a pre-launch exclusive preview in advance of its official launch in January 2007.

Crammed with unique features, the C4 Picasso is an innovative new arrival on the compact MPV market. This extremely spacious, practical and comfortable new 7-seat people carrier will complement the Company’s exceptionally popular existing MPV line-up. Customers are invited to experience first hand the style, dimensions, space, modular design and unique features of the C4 Picasso before it officially goes on sale in January next.

The sleek and stylish 7 Seat C4 Picasso sets new standards in its class with an original seat-folding design that allows exceptionally quick and easy reconfiguration, an imaginative dash lay-out which creates an uncluttered look in the front, while premier levels of refinement and comfort are ensured by the use of high quality trim materials and pneumatic rear suspension.

With a huge panoramic windscreen and expansive glazed area the C4 Picasso ensures superb visibility for all occupants regardless of which seat they are in. The wide-angle panoramic windscreen doubles vertical visibility at the front of the vehicle from the 35º of a conventional MPV to an impressive 70º. A combination of the largest sunroof and side windows in the class, as well as specially designed narrow windscreen pillars, gives the C4 Picasso the largest glazed area of any compact MPV.

When it comes to the finer details, the C4 Picasso further sets itself apart from its rivals – Citroën’s newest model introduces a number of striking and unique features. Over 30 different light sources demonstrate the innovative use of interior lighting systems; an integrated air quality sensor contributes to the pleasant ambience on-board, while a parking space measurement system, the first on the market, exemplifies the C4 Picasso’s use of advanced technology.

The 7 seat C4 Picasso has been awarded a 5star safety rating by EuroNCAP. No other MPV is safer. The C4 Picasso has scored a massive 35 points out of 37 for adult occupant protection, to lead the compact MPV class for safety.

With the introduction of the C4 Picasso, Citroën is offering compact MPV buyers a choice of two very different and distinctive styles and interior configurations – the C4 Picasso’s seven seats complementing the five seats of the Xsara Picasso, a model that will continue to form part of the Citroën line-up.

The C4 Picasso is a fresh alternative for customers looking for a versatile family car, with a host of new features designed to make travelling as easy and enjoyable as possible. Standard equipment includes ESP with ASR Traction Control, ABS with EBD and EBA, 7 Airbags (including driver’s knee airbag), electronic parking brake, hill start assist, wide-angle panoramic windscreen, cruise control with speed limiter, remote central locking, electric front windows and heated electric door mirrors.
Retailing from €27,300*, the Citroen C4 Picasso is sure to be a winner.

Be one of the first to see this exciting new Citroën model in the flesh at 30 Citroen Dealers Nationwide. Citroen dealers also have on display and available for test driving the exciting and diverse 2007 Citroen range from the stylish C1 city car to the elegant C6.

*Delivery and related charges extra

News from Citroen website

BMW and Eagle Star

BMW and Eagle StarBMW Group Ireland has announced the launch of insurance schemes developed in conjunction with Eagle Star, part of the Zurich Financial Services Group. The range of schemes includes three product lines that have been specifically tailored to the needs of BMW, MINI and BMW Motorrad owners.

This is good news for the consumer as it offers more choice in the area of insurance. This one-stop shop approach allows BMW and MINI owners a greater choice and a simple buying process. The range includes: motor insurance, complementary insurance and shortfall insurance.

1. Motor Insurance

The range starts with motor insurance. For car drivers, BMW Insurance and MINI Cover offer several important key features. For example, all repairs under these policies will be carried out by BMW or MINI approved bodyshops, which only use genuine manufacturer’s parts and their paint system. This, together with the bodyshop staff who are trained to BMW’s exacting standards, ensures that a car is restored to ‘as new’ condition following any damage. It also means that the manufacturer’s warranty is unaffected, which may not be the case with non-approved repairs. Insurance cover for both BMW and MINI owners will be available online and via a dedicated customer phone line as part of this new arrangement with Eagle Star.

For riders of BMW motorcycles, an exciting development is the launch of BMW Motorrad Insurance, which brings a much needed additional entrant to the market. This has been designed to meet the needs of BMW riders, and recognises the importance of the safety and security features commonly fitted to the BMW range, such as anti-lock brakes and factory-fitted electronic immobilisers. The scheme also recognises that BMW Motorrad Dealers can restrict certain models in the range to 25 kW to adhere to licensing restrictions for new riders. This is an important feature that could reduce insurance costs for riders whilst allowing them to avail of the safety features on a BMW without being penalised for starting off on a larger capacity bike.

2. Complimentary Motor Insurance

Also being launched are BMW Complimentary Insurance and MINI Complimentary Cover, which give the opportunity for seven days’ worth of free car insurance to customers buying a new or used BMW or MINI from an authorised dealer. The great benefit of these products is that it allows customers the opportunity to immediately ‘drive away’ once they have chosen their car without the hassle of having to sort out their own insurance. This facility should be particularly attractive to purchasers who are looking to buy under the BMW Approved Used Car and MINI Cherished schemes, who can’t wait to take delivery once they’ve chosen their car.

3. Shortfall Insurance

The third group of products in the line-up is BMW Shortfall and MINI Shortfall. In the event of a total loss write off, shortfall insurance is there to help bridge the difference between what the customer’s comprehensive motor insurance policy will pay out (normally based on the car’s current market value) and the cost of replacing their car on a ‘new for old’ basis.

Under the new BMW schemes, the customer is able to choose at the outset the maximum benefit that their shortfall policy will pay out (€10,000, €30,000 or €50,000), and the period that they will be covered for (two, three or four years). Like the seven days’ complimentary insurance products, shortfall is available to car buyers who are purchasing a new or used BMW or MINI from an authorised dealer. Although they must have a comprehensive motor insurance policy in place to avail of shortfall insurance, this doesn’t have to be from the manufacturer’s own scheme.

Speaking about the new products Sean Green, Managing Director of BMW Group Ireland, commented, “These innovative new products are designed to meet the exacting needs of our customers, and further expand the range of ancillary products we can offer them. I am particularly excited about BMW Motorrad Insurance, which should bring some much needed extra choice to the buyers of our motorcycles”.

Robert Rheel, CEO, Eagle Star Insurance added, “This initiative is a great example of how quality companies can combine their expertise and provide tailored customer solutions. This is a real win-win for both Eagle Star and BMW. ”

The new product range will be available on the market in early December 2006.

News from BMW Website

Alfa’s New Brera Coupe arrives in Ireland

“It drives as well as it looks and it looks as good as it drives”: that’s the simple claim from Alfa Romeo about their new Brera 2+2 coupé, which has just gone on sale in Ireland.

On looks alone, a Brera can stop you in your tracks, which is hardly surprising as Giorgetto Giugiaro designed the car. Since its first appearance four years ago, as a concept car at the Geneva Motor Show, Brera has won an array of international design and styling awards. It is the very epitome of Italian elegance, with sinuous and sensual lines extending back from the traditional shield-shaped front grille to enfold a taut, muscular body. The proportions of the body are perfectly balanced and, as with all great designs, you sense that the Brera will look just as dramatic, just as powerful, just as aggressive and every bit as desirable in twenty years time.

The Brera offers the choice of two very responsive, and extremely powerful petrol engines: a 2.2 16v. JTS that produces 185 bhp, develops peak torque of 230 Nm at 4500 rpm and offers a top speed of 222km/h and a 3.2 V6 JTS unit that produces 260 bhp, develops peak torque of 322 Nm at 4500 rpm and offers a top speed of 240 km/h.

The 3.2 V6 comes with Alfa‘s Q4 four-wheel drive system where torque is mainly distributed to the rear wheels (57% rear, 43% front) to give a more sporty driving experience and offer highest levels of adhesion for greater safety.

Both the 2.2 and 3.2 versions come with a six-speed transmission, automatic climate control, VDC with Hill Holder (ABS + ASR + EBD + Brake Assistant), 17” light alloy rims with 225 / 50 tyres, twin chromed exhausts and 6-speaker radio / CD system with steering-wheel mounted controls. Passive safety for drivers and passengers has been given enormous importance, as witnessed by the inclusion of driver and front passenger controlled-opening airbags, front side-bags for chest / pelvis protection, full size window-bags, knee-bags for driver and front-seat passenger.

Over its 80 years in existence, Alfa Romeo has a recognised tradition for producing memorably beautiful cars that have helped establish Italian styling as the benchmark for the motor industry across the world. The Company even has a permanent museum at Arese near their hometown of Milan where many of their most beautiful cars are on permanent display. Some of those cars came to Dublin for an exhibition a few years ago, an event visited by Michael Schumacher.

The new Giugiaro-designed Brera certainly seems to have the credentials to be another classic car, for both drivers and for those who appreciate what one commentator has called ‘great art in motion’.

Recommended retail prices, excluding dealer and related charges, are €48,000 for the Brera 2.2 and €57,000 for the 3.2 V6. An automatic version of the 3.2 will follow later this year.


News from Alfa Romeo website

Arrival of the new Audi TT Coupe

New Audi TT
Audi have fixed September next as the date for the introduction into Ireland of their new second generation Audi TT Coupe which is currently being presented to the international motoring media.

In its new form, Audi has been careful to retain the TT’s visual attractiveness whilst enhancing its dynamic appeal in terms of design, engine output and performance.

Viewed from the front, the now familiar Audi single-frame grille is introduced as the defining element. Large air inlets and more sharply cut headlights give the new TT a greater expressiveness. From the rear, its wide wheel arches, restyled light cluster, powerful exhaust tailpipes and centrally positioned fog light all echo the world of motor sport.

Barely visible when stationery is an electrically operated rear spoiler which extends automatically when the car reaches 120km/h in order to improve down force on the rear axle. It retracts automatically when speed drops below 80km/h.

Interior changes include a restyled instrument cluster, new trim, lower fitting sports seats and a steering wheel flattened at the bottom as in the Audi RS 4. Seats are upholstered in cloth in the four-cylinder model and with leather/alcantara trim in the V6.

Slightly longer (+137 mm), wider (+78 mm) and higher (+6 mm) than its predecessor with a longer, roomier interior and extra front/rear shoulder width, the TT is available as a 2+2 seater coupe with a roadster model scheduled for later introduction. The body is constructed using lightweight aluminium and steel design with aluminium accounting for 69 percent of the weight of the body.

Two models will be available here initially -a four cylinder 2.0-litre, 200bhp Turbo FSI version and a V6 3.2-litre, 250bhp quattro version, both with fixed head, hard top roof and six-speed manual gearbox. Soft top versions will be available in 2007 with other derivatives following in due course

Though prices have yet to be finalised, it is expected that the 2.0-litre version will arrive just below EUR50,000 with the 3.2-litre quattro at around EUR70,000 or below.

More information can be found on Audi.ie website.

Alfa Romeo’s New 159 Range Arrives.

Motoring aficionados often point out that Alfa Romeo’s cars are designed and engineered to provide pleasure both to the owners’ eyes and ears. Remembering that these cars are from the homeland of Verdi and da Vinci, Armani and Pavarotti, this observation won’t surprise anyone. Moreover, just as most of the world’s great opera houses are in Italy, most of the motor industry’s great design houses are located there too, in the northern part of that country. The jewel in the crown of these Italian ‘carrozzeria’ is undoubtedly the Italdesign studio of Giorgetto Giugiaro.

Shaping steel with style and making music from multi-valves may all be part of Alfa Romeo’s 90-year long tradition, but the Company now believes that this new 159, designed by Giugiaro collaborating with Alfa Romeo Styling Centre, sets a benchmarks in both these areas for all future Alfas and all competitors.

The Alfa 159 is often described as the successor to the Alfa 156. In many ways it is, the styling certainly flows from the genius of that original award-winning design. However, this newcomer is significantly larger, has considerably more presence on the road and comes equipped with some of the most technologically advanced engineering in the world. It can be said that the newcomer has taken all the strengths and visual appeal of the 156 and then added significantly to both.


The new Alfa 159 range offers a choice of six engines across nine versions. The three petrol engines are 1.9 JTS 160 bhp, 2.2 JTS 185 bhp and 3.2 JTS V6 260 bhp 4×4. All these engines meet Euro 4 standards, exploiting the direct petrol injection fully, using a combustion system known as JTS, Jet Thrust Stoichiometric. For a driver, this means sparkling performance enhancing both the driving enjoyment and the performance of the car. The torque values of the engines are truly outstanding, with 88% of max. torque in each available at just 2,000 rpm: 190 Nm @ 4,500 rpm for the 1.9 JTS, 230 Nm @ 4,500 rpm for the 2.2 JTS, and 322 Nm @ 4,500 rpm for the 159 3.2 litre V6 JTS.

The turbo-diesel engines comprise 1.9 8v 120 bhp, 1.9 16v 150 bhp and 2.4 20v 200 bhp. Alfa Romeo is a pioneer in the field of diesel engines, epitomised by their 2.4 JTDM 5-cylinder 20v engine (200 bhp at 4000 rpm and torque of 400 Nm), and the two 1.9 JTDM units: the 16v delivering 150 bhp @ 4,000 rpm and torque of 320 Nm @ 2,000 rpm, the 8v unit delivering 120 bhp @ 4,000 rpm and torque of 280 Nm at 2,000 rpm. On the latest generation of “Common Rail” engines, JTD units with Multijet technology, turbo charging is by way of a variable geometry turbo and intercooler. The 1.9 JTDM uses a rotor developed by Alfa Romeo while the 2.4 JTDM has a new cylinder head and new con rods in “fractured” steel. The three engines already meet Euro 4 requirements and incorporate a particulate trap that eliminates fine dust almost entirely, in line with the current indications regarding future Euro 5 legislation.

This spread of engines in the Alfa 159 range is designed to ensure that the driving requirements of those who choose to drive sporty executive performance saloon cars are fully catered for.


* New 3.2 JTS V6 260 bhp engine
The new 6-cylinder engine of the Alfa 159 3.2 JTS continues the strategy begun with the 4-cylinder engines, and adopts the JTS (Jet Thrust Stoichiometric) direct injection system. This is an original Alfa Romeo concept that injects the fuel directly into the combustion chamber with a Stoichiometric mixture optimised to enhance performance, but also guarantees low fuel consumption and respect for the Euro4 emissions limits.

Numerous important components have been designed from scratch exclusively for this new V6 engine. To start with, the cylinder head is aluminium and has 4 valves per cylinder, 2 camshafts per bank with the “Twin Phaser” continuous variable valve timing (intake and exhaust) already adopted on Alfa Romeo 4-cylinder engines and now applied on a 6-cylinder engine for the first time. Variable valve timing allows the phase angle on both cams to be varied by 50°, maximising performance on one hand, because the best phase can be chosen at all engine speeds, and reducing consumption and emissions with partial loads on the other.

The 3.2 V6 JTS is fitted with Q4 permanent four-wheel drive, a system that guarantees excellent traction and enjoyable driving. The system is permanent, with three differentials, and it splits drive constantly and dynamically over the 4 wheels, both when accelerating and on the release, maintaining the highest levels of active safety and sportiness. The Torsen C self-locking central differential manages the drive torque, splitting it 57% to the rear wheel and 43% to the front wheels, to produce slight oversteer, particularly with a sporty driving style. The system also guarantees excellent traction in all grip conditions, by automatically checking slip.

* 1.9 JTS 160 bhp and 2.2 JTS 185 bhp engines.
The 4-cylinder engines of the Alfa 159 are extremely light (approximately 20% lighter than the engines they replace) because they have aluminium cylinder heads and crankcases. The timing gear control is particularly evolved, featuring a system of rocker arms and rollers, which significantly reduces dispersion due to friction in the cylinder head, and a “Twin Phaser” continuous variable valve timing system on the intake and exhaust valves, which optimises power output, torque and consumption.

The 2.2 JTS delivers 185 bhp and peak torque of 230 Nm @ 4,500 rpm, taking the car to a top speed of 222 km/h and accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.8 seconds. Torque is also excellent on the 1.9 JTS, 190 Nm @ 4,500 rpm, 88% of which is available at just 2,000 rpm. With a power delivery of 160 bhp, the 1.9 JTS delivers a top speed of 210 km/h.

* New 2.4 JTDM 20v 200 bhp turbo diesel engine.
Derived from the familiar 2.4 JTD 20 valve “Common Rail” engine, the new engine has five cylinders in line and is the most powerful engine in the JTD multivalve Multijet family, with a specific power of 84 bhp/litre. The new engine offers numerous advantages. First, it is appreciably quieter during the heating stage, depending on the rev speed and ambient temperature. It is also extremely powerful (200 bhp @ 4000 rpm), with a generous torque of 400 Nm at 2000 rpm). There are four valves per cylinder, activated via hydraulic tappets and rocker arms by the twin overhead camshaft. Several changes were made to the new turbo diesel engine to boost performance and engine torque at low speeds, and to eliminate noise and vibration. For example, the “Common Rail” system adopted on the 2.4 JTD Multijet 20v employs two new automatic control strategies for the setting and balance of the injected diesel fuel, to reduce noise and vibration.

The turbo boost is provided by a turbo blower with a variable geometry turbo that helps to improve the power delivery and, even at low engine speeds, generates very high torque. In fact, 90% of peak torque is available between 1750 and 3500 rpm. These figures translate into extremely enjoyable driving and brilliant performance: this Alfa 159 has a top speed of 228 km/h and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.4 seconds. Fuel consumption remains low (6.8 l/100 km in the mixed cycle).

* 1.9 JTDM 150 bhp and 120 bhp turbo diesel engines.
Both have 4 cylinders in line. The first is a 16 valve unit delivering 150 bhp @ 4,000 rpm and peak torque of 320 Nm @ 2,000 rpm; the second has 8 valves and delivers 120 bhp @ 4,000 rpm and peak torque of 280 Nm @ 2,000 rpm.

Changes made to both engines boost performance and engine torque at low speeds, and reduce noise and vibration. For example, the Common Rail system now includes two new strategies for automatically calibrating and balancing the diesel fuel injected, to lower noise and reduce vibration. That isn’t all. The special features of the Alfa Romeo engine include a variable geometry turbo blower with a special rotor that increases torque at low speeds for the 1.9 JTDM 16v, and an inlet manifold with a throttle valve on one of the two inlet ports of the cylinders to control inlet air turbulence for the 1.9 JTDM 16v engine. Equipped with the 150 bhp 1.9 JTDM engine, the Alfa 159 reaches a top speed of 210 km/h, and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.4 seconds (the results for the 120 bhp 1.9 JTDM are 191 km/h and 11 seconds respectively). In spite of these excellent performance figures, fuel consumption is limited: 6.0l/100 km on the mixed cycle for the 1.9.160 bhp and 5.9 l/100 km for the 1.9 120 bhp.

Producing the power is only the beginning of the exercise. Making it easily accessible to the driver in the safest, most enjoyable manner is at the heart of the Alfa Romeo sporting tradition, encapsulated in the slogan ‘Cuore Sportivo’.

The Alfa 159 states that it is an Alfa through and through by offering control and entertaining driving that accepts no compromise. Travelling comfort and dynamic behaviour have always been hallmarks of Alfa Romeo cars, and they become real strengths in this model. To start with, the Alfa 159 has a very interesting suspension layout, developed from a new project that set extremely high standards of excellence: it has “high” double wishbones at the front, and a multilink system at the rear. This gives a greater capacity to absorb typical Irish road roughness, more linearity and precision in response to the steering (the most direct of the standard saloons, with a small turning circle), superb road-holding, maximum stability in high-speed manoeuvres and the agility of a true Alfa Romeo on narrow twisting roads.

The steering of the Alfa 159 has an excellent ratio, 12.7° steer for every degree of wheel steer, the most direct in its category, which translates into a more direct response for the driver, more responsive steering and better stability control.

The new multilink rear suspension allows wheel movement to be controlled in a sophisticated manner, reaching the best possible balance in terms of performance. The system, with three levers and a transverse blade, highlights the performance of the various components subject to a longitudinal load, to improve the filtering of roughness and under a lateral load, achieving faster responses, enhanced stability and extreme grip.

The Alfa 159 adopts the most sophisticated electronic systems to control the car’s dynamic behaviour, and to raise the dynamic limits even higher, so that they increase safety but are not intrusive for the driver. The effects of these devices were studied in both simulations and exhausting track tests, to ensure that the car is always entertaining to drive. The lavish safety equipment includes:

1: ABS (complete with EBD- Electronic Brakeforce Distribution system). The Alfa 159 features an excellent braking system backed up by the BOSCH 5.7 ABS anti-lock braking device, one of the most advanced on the market. It has four active sensors and a hydraulic control unit with 12 solenoids. The ABS system incorporates Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), which distributes the braking effort to the four wheels so that it prevents them from locking, maintaining full control of the car in all conditions. The system also adapts to the grip conditions of the wheels themselves and the efficiency of the brake pads, thus preventing the latter from overheating.)

2: VDC is Alfa Romeo’s interpretation of Electronic Stability Program, and it intervenes only if conditions are close to the limit and the car’s stability is at risk, to help the driver to control the car. VDC is a sporty device, as you would expect of an Alfa. It lets the driver enjoy total control of the vehicle as long as conditions are normal, only intervening before the situation becomes critical. The VDC system is always engaged.

3: ASR (Anti Slip Regulation) is an integral part of the VDC system, optimising traction at all speeds, assisted by the brakes and the engine control. The device monitors the wheel speed calculated by the ABS sensors to establish the amount of slip and triggers different control systems to recover grip. When an excessive demand for power causes both drive wheels to slip (for example, aquaplaning or accelerating on an uneven, snow-covered or icy road surface), the system reduces engine torque by decreasing the throttle valve aperture and thus the air flow. If, on the other hand, only one wheel slips (for example the wheel on the inside of the bend, after acceleration or a dynamic change in the load), this wheel is automatically braked without the driver having to touch the bake pedal. The effect is similar to that of a self-locking differential. This gets the Alfa 159 out of any difficulties on surfaces where grip is poor. ASR is engaged automatically every time the engine is started, but can be closed off by a pushbutton on the central console.

4: MSR (Motor Schleppmoment Regelung) on the other hand, intervenes if the driver changes down suddenly in poor grip conditions, giving torque back to the engine to prevent skidding due to wheel lock. To do this, VDC constantly monitors tyre grip on the road longitudinally and laterally, and if it detects a tendency to skid, the system intervenes to recover direction and stability. Sensors measure the rotation of the car around its vertical axis (yaw speed), the lateral acceleration and the steering lock set by the driver (which indicates his chosen direction). It compares these data within the parameters set in a pre-programmed electronic control unit and uses a complex mathematical model to establish whether the car is taking a corner within the grip limits, or if the car is about to skid at the front or at the rear (understeer or oversteer).

5: HBA. The safety equipment on the Alfa 159 is completed by the HBA system, the hydraulic electronic braking assistant that automatically increases the pressure in the braking circuit during emergency braking. In addition, by the Hill-holder system that maintains the braking pressure for a few moments after the driver removes his foot from the pedal, to simplify hill starts and prevent the car from slipping backwards.

The Alfa 159 comes with two trim levels, Turismo and Sportivo. Standard equipment with the Turismo specification is of a very high level as you would expect and includes 7 airbags, air-conditioning, a temperature control storage box and 16” alloy wheels. In addition to the foregoing, Sportivo specifications includes dual zone automatic climate control, rain and demist sensors, dusk sensor, cruise control, radio and phone controls positioned in the steering-wheel, volumetric and anti-lift alarm systems and 17” sports alloy wheels with 225/50 tyres.

It is worth noting that the equivalent 1.9 160 bhp petrol and 120 bhp Common Rail turbo-diesel versions are priced identically, a dramatic breakthrough which will let those who have aspired to Common Rail technology and performance to choose one of these outstanding units with no price penalty.

Recommended retail prices, exc. delivery and related costs are as follows:

1.9 JTS 160 bhp. Turismo, €36,550, Sportivo, €38,300.
2.2 JTS 185 bhp. Sportivo, €41,300.
3.2 JTS V6 Q4 260 bhp. Sportivo, € 49,300.
Turbo D:
1.9 JTDM 8v 120 bhp. Turismo, € 36,550, Sportivo € 38,300.
1.9 JTDM 16v 150 bhp. Turismo, € 38,300
1.9 JTDM 16v 160 bhp. Sportivo, € 40,800.
2.4 JTDM 20v 200 bhp. Sportivo, € 44,800.

Deciding What Car To Buy

Things to help you in purchasing the right car.

1. What type of car am I looking for?
      This should probably be one of the first questions you should ask yourself.
      This question in turn brings about other questions like the ones listed below.

a. Is it going to be just for me and my partner?
b. Is it going to be used for long drives?
c. Do I need a big engine or a small 1.0 – 1.3 litre will do?
d. Am I buying a car to impress others or am I buying a car for my own purpose?
e. Am I going to be able to insure it and for how much?
f.  How much will the Road Tax  cost?
g. How much is it going to cost me for servicing this car?
h I am I after a coupe or should I be better-off getting a saloon?
i.  If you are into customising the car (body kits, etc), can I get parts ready available to make it look good, or do I need to pay extra to get one custom-made?
j. How long am I going  to keep this new car?

Enough with the questions, now lets see if we can give you some answers.

Q:  a. Is it going to be just for me and my partner?

Now this should have an easy answer. 
If you like 2 doors sports cars and you are not going to have kids in the near future, then a coupe model should do, otherwise we would suggest going for a saloon or even a MPV (multi purpose vehicle) type. 
The downside of a coupe model is that is very limited in space, in some cases like Toyota MR2 (just an example) only 2 seats – driver and one passenger, but there are coupe models out there that could take up to 4 people (including the driver) like Hyundai Coupe, Toyota Celica, just to mention a few. 
This can be very easily spotted by counting the number of seat-belts available.

Q: b. Is it going to be used for long drives?

If the car you are going to purchase will be used mostly for long drives (e.g. Dublin to Belfast), the smallest engine we would recommend will be 1.6 litre. A smaller engine will do as well, but it wouldn’t be as comfortable especially on motorways.

Q: c. Do I need a big engine or a small 1.0 – 1.3 litre will do? 

The answer from question b. should be part of this solution. A smaller car is very useful for driving in town, parking, less fuel consumption (cheaper to run), also a car with a small engine is cheaper to service as well, plus the cost of Road Tax and Insurance will be lower comparing with bigger engines. All these cost add up at the end of the year.

Q: d. Am I buying a car to impress others or am I buying a car for my own purpose? 

No suggestions here from us, you should try think about this yourself. We wouldn’t want to offend anybody so sorry we haven’t got a proper answer for this question.

Q: e. Am I going to be able to insure it and for how much? 

OK, so you have decided which car your are going for, you have most of the details about it (engine size, alarm fitted, etc), now is the time to make few calls looking for an insurance quote, before going to purchase it. Depending on few terms about yourself, and the car itself, you should be able to get a rough estimate of how much is going to cost you per year and what you will get for your money, for more about this (Link to Insurance page).

Q: f. How much will the Road Tax cost? 

Based on the details you have about the car engine size you can go to www.motortax.ie and download the .pdf file available.

Q: g. How much is it going to cost me for servicing this car? 

There are few factors to take in consideration when trying to figure out how much a service will cost. Our advice to you is shop around. You will be surprised how service prices can vary from garage to garage. Also a car with a smaller engine will cost a lot less than a car with a bigger engine, a main dealer will cost more than a smaller garage, but as we said shop around. Best is to ask friends to recommend a garage that they use and were happy with the service they got. We just have to say one thing, is the quality that matters not the price.
If you can get both then you are more than a Happy Customer.

Q: h. I am after a coupe  or should I be better-off getting a saloon? 

This is a hard decision to make, especially when getting a 5 years loan for your car. I mean 5 years is a long time and anything could happen. A new member to your family, could get you to sell your sport car and move to a family saloon or MPV. It happened to me and it could happen to anybody, so a decision has to be made. It’s not really a big deal at the end. You can always get a re-finance loan, trade the old car in for a new one, but usually you will lose money and if that’s not what you want take your time and think now.

Q: i. If you are into customising the car (body kits, etc), can you get parts ready available to make it look good, or do you need to pay extra to get one custom-made?

It happened before, getting the car and trying to find parts for it proved to be more difficult than ever. Doing your homework in advance could save you time and hassle in the future. The market is full of parts for customising your car to make it look good, but sometimes the cost in getting these parts shipped to your door, sprayed, fitted and making sure you get quality not quantity proves to be complicated. You found (for example) a nice body kit that will suit your future car, but is made in China. Sending a quick email to the company to see if they ship to your location, and how much is going to cost, will help. Just because you have seen it, it doesn’t mean you can have it. Now buying the parts before getting the car, wouldn’t help either. What happens if you change your mind and choose a different motor?

Q: j. How long am I going to hold on to this new car?
Knowing this will help you decide the term for your finance and / or how much are you going to spend to get the right car.