With all the rubbish that accumulates over the holiday period, this is the time of year that large estate cars really shine. They don't come much bigger than the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate. When it's not on tip duty, it also offers good family transport.
Here's what you need to look for if you're considering the large premium estate.
Ideal model E220 CDI Blue Efficiency SE automatic
Prices from £9995
Why should I buy a used Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate?
If you're looking for something that can carry the whole family and all their luggage, the E-Class Estate is a great option. It's got a cavernous boot and practical features such as an electrically operated tailgate and luggage cover, and rear seats that fold flat by pulling on handles in the boot.
There's also lots of room for passengers in the rear seats, and on some models there are even two rear-facing seats in the boot - they're suitable for only children but are useful nonetheless.
The driver will appreciate the well-built cabin and the generous specification that includes electric seat adjustment, Bluetooth, DAB digital radio and heated front seats.
Which model should I choose?
Our pick of the range is the E220 CDI Blue Efficiency. It's the most popular model on the used market and it offers a good blend of performance and efficiency.
We'd avoid cars with the manual gearbox and instead choose an automatic version. The E-Class still uses a foot-operated parking brake, which is tricky to use if you have the manual gearbox and need to do a hill start.
SE trim comes with everything you could want, including a comfortable suspension setup that includes self-levelling rear air suspension.
How much should I pay?
High-mileage models can be yours for just under £10,000, while a '12/12 car with 30,000 miles on the clock will set you back about £19,000.
What problems should I look out for?
In general, the E-Class Estate has proven to be a well built and reliable car. The majority of problems are to do with the electrical systems. Owners report issues with the rear parking sensors failing and the electric windows. On the test drive look out for any warning lights and check that everything works as it should. Repair bills for premium brands such as Mercedes tend to be high, so it's worth doing a thorough investigation.
Look for scrapes to the bumpers and bodywork. There's no getting away from the fact that the E-Class Estate is a big car - bigger than some parking spaces - so look for any parking-related damage.
There have been some recalls. If the car you're looking at was affected by one of these, make sure that the necessary repair work has been carried out. The recalls were for issues with the power steering, the fuel filter and a sensor that controls the rear suspension.
Some drivers complain that the bolsters on the driver's seat are quite hard, making long journeys uncomfortable. Make sure that you can get comfortable behind the wheel.
To find good used examples of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate head to the What Car? Approved Used pages.