Comment

Car Choice: Take the high road to Scotland, but keep the costs low

Elizabeth Mann is 59, and although she lives overseas she is set to return to her home in rural Scotland. She will need a 4x4 because of the weather and the poor state of the roads. She previously owned a Subaru Justy. Until full retirement and a pension, she will have to run this car on a part-time income, and as economically as possible. She has up to £15,000 to spend.

Car Choice: In search of the automatically economic

Brian Westbury is looking for a car for his son and daughter-in-law. She can only drive an automatic, and they haven't been able to find any information or comparisons on economical automatics. Brian realises that they are not as frugal as manuals, and has a very simple requirement – a small, automatic four seater, with five doors, which must be, economical.

Car Choice: Don't give up your pride and joy – buy a sack of

Lin Evans loves her MX-5 sports cars, and has run them for the last 20 years. But after a move to the Cotswolds, the last two winters have been a problem as the Mazda can't cope with the snow, and she has had several scary experiences. However, Lin does not want a boring car, would love another convertible, but realises that the MX-5 may have to be replaced. Her budget is £20,000.

Car Choice: Musician John is in need of a change of tune

John Huw Davies is 76 and a very lucky fellow as he owns two Volvo V70s – one petrol, one diesel. But they are now a problem. The low seating means that it is becoming difficult for him to get in and out. So what John needs is an automatic diesel vehicle that can carry keyboards, music stands, and stools, with easily moveable seats. He has £8,000 to spend.

Car Choice: A strapping teenage son needs room to grow

David Remmer has a Mini Cooper S, which is used for the school run and the daily journey to the railway station. However, his 14-year-old son is now 5ft 9ins, which means getting him in the back of the Mini is no longer an option. Ideally, David is looking for a car with five doors, decent rear legroom, which is small and easy to park, with an automatic gearbox. He wants lots of equipment and has a generous £25,000 budget.

Je t'aime, La 2CV

Owners of the much-derided vehicle have held the biggest car rally in French history. John Lichfield went along for the ride

Car Choice: Trendy and reliable? Yes, you can have both

Chris Andrews is 38 and feels that his X reg, 1.8, petrol Ford Mondeo is starting to look and feel a bit tired after 150,000 miles. With about £8,000 to spend, Chris is tempted to buy either the new Mondeo or a Skoda Octavia but he wonders if there is an equally reliable yet trendier alternative? Chris is also thinking that it might be better to go for a newer, higher mileage car and he is curious about what he can expect from a modern diesel?

Car Choice: A family on the road – but not on the people-carrier

Helen Bartleman and her husband want to change cars. They are looking for a used car, two or three years old, which has room for three child seats in a row – but it should, ideally, not be a people carrier. From their previous experience they would prefer to run a diesel. Most important of all, their budget is £11,000-£13,000.

Car Choice: Striking the right chord for musician Matt

Due to the cost of fuel and insurance, Matt Marks and his partner want to cut down to just one car. They currently have an S Reg Renault Megane Scenic 2 and a two-year-old Ford Ka. As a composer and musician, Matt needs space in the vehicle for keyboards, amps and other equipment – and he likes the height of the Megane Scenic. So he wants space and fuel efficiency. The budget is up to £2,000, but ideally the pair want to spend less.

Car Choice: Seeking better luck with the third estate

Peter Cade wants a large diesel estate car. His recent experience has been with Vauxhall Vectra 2.0s. He's had two from new, but once the three year warranty period has expired he has experienced serious electrical failures. He wants a replacement vehicle that would cost a similar amount to a brand new Vauxhall.

Car Choice: Welcome to Britain, home of Mondeo Man

Stuart Allison, from the United States, wants a reliable, fairly inexpensive car for about a year while he is working in the UK. In the US he runs Subarus, and over here he will have his wife and two daughters with him. Reliability, safety, and the ability to make weekend trips to places like the Lake District or Cornwall are all important. Stuart has up to £2,000 to spend and wants to know what things to watch for when buying a car in the UK.

Car Choice: Clare is looking for comfort

Clare Varley is 58, and admits she is beginning to wish for a bit more motoring comfort – especially on long journeys. She says that after her regular trips to visit her elderly mother, she gets out of her X-reg Fiesta feeling stiff and achey. Also, as a health visitor, she has to make a lot of short journeys. Clare wants something that is a bit more spacious and costs around £3,000 to £4,000.

Car Choice: Ready for battle on the busy streets of south London

Mike Bull wants to know what car would be best for his 25-year-old daughter. She passed her test in an automatic, and drove Mike's old Vauxhall Carlton for a while, then moved to south London and has not driven for nearly two years. Which means she now needs a small, inexpensive, safe, and reliable automatic to get around the city. The budget would be just a few thousand pounds. He also wonders whether she could take the advanced driving course in an automatic.

Surprised by Daihatsu

I was reading up on Daihatsu's plans for the Tokyo Motor Show later this month. For some reason I've never really given much thought to the company or its products; for some reason I had categorised it as a manufacturer of interchangeable, small, boxy cars.