When you head out to buy a new car, you should have assembled a personal checklist of the most important things to you. As you take a look at the vehicle to hand, you should be able to tick off the things you wanted. At the end you should be able to see exactly how the car matches up to your essential statistics. Using this technique, you’ll never be suckered into buying a car you don’t want on the spur of the moment. You’ll be immune to pushy salesmen and marketing campaigns, and you should be happy with your car for years to come.
By doing just a little bit of homework before you go, you’ll save yourself the potential disappointment of driving home with a car that doesn’t suit your daily needs. It would be a huge pain to find that your new non-refundable purchase won’t fit your bike in the boot. Or that the mileage in a city-setting is hugely sub-par.
Here’s our list of essential considerations. Use these to compile your own personal checklist, making sure that you end up with the motor you need and deserve.
This is one of the things you would have probably picked up on without our help, but it’s nonetheless essential. Think about all of the uses you’re going to have for your car, from the school run to the yearly holiday. Think about any extra considerations, like removable seating. This will add to the flexibility of your new motor, making it more viable as a family car. Are you a particularly tall driver? Do you need more space as a result? Get in the car to get a feel for it, and don’t be afraid to ask any previous owner how they found it in respect to their needs.
Are you a bit of a petrolhead? Will you be using the car on a daily basis on motorways? Will you get extra pleasure from this, or is it only a practical consideration? Speed can be an important aspect of overall efficiency as you will often trade the two off. Think about the actual applications of a fast car. Will you actually use that extra speed, or is it just a part of your fantasy as a boy racer. Be realistic about your needs in this respect.
For many people, style is a hugely important consideration. It feeds into some larger considerations, like space and speed as well. Style is probably a more personal aspect of the vehicle to take into account, and you should be wary of letting it take over your overall buying process. Don’t buy a car just because you like the way it looks, but also don’t be afraid of knowing what you want. A car is a part of your lifestyle, and there’s no shame in admitting that you have particular requirements in this area. As a 7ft tall international businessman you may not want to drive a pink Mini Cooper around all day.
A more practical consideration. Think about the mileage in general, with the cost of fuel in the back of your mind. Where will you be using the car the most? What is the mileage like in the city in comparison to the open road? Which matches your lifestyle more?
Considering the environmental implications of your vehicle is an increasing trend. We should all be doing our bit for the environment, and buying a car that produces fewer emissions can be one of the most effective ways of making a better planet. Do your research online about this. Which cars are particularly bad for the environment? SUVs are bound to be terrible in this respect, but electric cars aren’t yet fully viable as an alternative. Try to find a middle ground. But remember that you may trade off environmental considerations against other specifications.
If you’ll be driving your kids around in the car a lot, you should be considering safety. There are plenty of places online that measure the respective safety features of cars, and you should certainly look into them before you make your purchase. Will there be room for a baby or a booster seat? How does the car fare in crashes? SUVs may be terrible for the environment, but they undeniably come out on top in the safety stakes.
If you have older kids that will be learning to drive you, should think about how safe the car will be for a learner. How easy is it to handle? Does it have extensive airbags? You may have to think long term about things like this. Your kids might be young at the moment, but if you’re going to have the car for many years you’ll need to consider these things now.
A more general one this time. How does the car handle? Is it a bit of a handful to take tight corners in? Will that be an issue for any member of your family? Here you need to be thinking about cars you’ve previously had, and what you liked/disliked about them. Are you looking for something in particular now? Do you need it to be highly manoeuvrable in the city? Do you take a lot of off-road or worn down tracks in the countryside? Remember that if you’re buying a car for long term use your requirements may change over time. Ask for a demonstration when visiting showrooms like A1 Carriages, where there will be salespeople on hand to help.
Does the make and brand of the car have a good reputation? Do they offer a good follow-up service at dealerships should any problems arise? Are the cars re-known for certain expensive issues, or do they run for years and years without any problems?
How expensive will it be to run a car like this? What is the road tax like, and how will it affect your insurance? You may find out that in the long run it makes far more financial sense to spend a fair bit more on the car to avoid tax over time. Environmental cars usually have less road tax, although you sacrifice performance for this. Mileage is also one of the key considerations that feeds into this category.
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