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Car Choice: Taxi for Julio! That'll be the Mondeo or the Galaxy outside

Julio Lambert is 58 and looking to buy a car to use as a taxi. He admits to being on the short side, so wants a raised seat for excellent all-round visibility. Julio does have an old Rover which could be part exchanged for £2,000 in scrappage, but he wonders whether something a little older would be better value?

A car for the head

If there is nothing wrong with Julio's Rover I would urge him to sell it rather than scrap it. Also, saving £2,000 on the size of vehicle he may need is nothing compared to the depreciation it will suffer. I believe he'd be better off buying used. A people carrier would take more bodies, though significantly, not all their luggage. It does provide higher seating, although sometimes an estate car is more flexible, because it can carry four passengers and their luggage. So it does all depend on what sort of jobs Julio is planning to do. So I will pick a big vehicle, and a not so big one. I think that the most flexible would be a Ford Mondeo estate. It has a massive boot and a driver's seat that can be easily raised. The 2.0 TDCi engine is strong and economical, returning 47.1 mpg overall. Being a Ford it will have depreciated hugely, especially as Julio should aim to buy the older model. He could get a 2006 model, which has covered 89,000 miles, for £5,450.

A car for the heart

Should Julio prefer to load up with bodies, then seven seats would be in order as he will get six fare-paying customers. Again, I would urge he consider a Ford product, a Galaxy, because of its availability, practicality, value, and also the fact that the seat can be adjusted for height. This will give a good view out as there are not too many blind spots in the Galaxy, Britain's favourite people mover. It is as easy to drive as a Mondeo, with a responsive power steering system and light gearchange. The firm suspension means it always feels stable, and on long journeys it is never less than relaxing. Julio should go for the Volkswagen built 1.9 diesel engine for economy. For £5,250 he'd get a 2005 model, with 60,000 miles on the clock, and a warranty, from a dealer. Ideally he should find a better-equipped Zetec model to make his customers feel a little more comfortable.

Looking to buy?

Please write to Car Choice, Features, Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF or email James Ruppert at carchoice@independent.co.uk, giving your age, address and phone number, details of the type of vehicle in which you are interested, and your budget.