Between different circumstances and changes to your lifestyle, finding the right car for you is not always a walk in the park. Whether your a first-time buyer or looking to futureproof your next vehicle purchase, there really is something for everyone out there.
With a little bit of research and planning, discovering what makes a reliable, safe and affordable vehicle is all at your fingertips.
Want a headstart? Here is our guide to finding the right car for you:
What are your needs?
First off, what do you want from your car? If it’s practicality, then what you are looking for will look far different from those seeking a statement piece. For daily commuters, functionality and comfort should top your list.
Here’s some food for thought:
- How much space do you need? Consider passengers, travel and boot space
- What type of driving do you do? Are you an off-roader, motorway driver or busting the city streets?
- What does your weekly journey look like? You may want to keep fuel economy at the top of your list or think about electric vehicle (EV) options
- What must-haves do you want? From a state of the art infotainment system to alloy wheels, everyone has a preference
- What safety features are a must? Automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, for example
- Where will you be parking your vehicle? Garage, car park or street?
- Are you going to have children on board?
Figure out your budget
Whichever route you take, whether you finance, lease or pay outright, you need to consider your budget. How much can you pay upfront, and what monthly costs can you reasonably manage?
Taking up the finance or leasing route? Budget for:
- Fuel costs
- Maintenance – check to see what your financing package includes (servicing, warranty etc.)
- Road tax – or is the vehicle exempt?
The best finance providers out there – we count ourselves amongst them – will never let you borrow above your means. But setting out a budget ahead of any application is sensible to get you the best deal that is suitable to your financial needs, as well as the car you ultimately want to purchase.
What is your ultimate goal?
When all is said and done, do you want to own the car outright or move on to a new vehicle once your lease is over?
What’s excellent about financing is that you have a much broader choice available to you than the used/secondhand market. You’re protected by dealership accreditation, reliable service history and will be offered the top of the range technology and the highest-rated safety vehicles on the market.
As a minimum, most new vehicles come with a 3-year warranty attached that usually covers servicing. This takes the pressure of coming up with the cash on the spot should anything go wrong with your car.
Going down the used market route may cost you less money on the surface, but it is likely to cost you more in the long run. You will not be the first owner of the vehicle for one, and older cars tend to spend more time in the garage.
Branch out at the dealership
Most of us have our hearts set on a specific car before we set foot in the dealership. This isn’t a bad thing if you have done all your research ahead of the game, but sitting in the driver’s seat, you might think differently once you are behind the wheel.
First off, make sure you take your desired vehicle for a spin before signing on the dotted line. That way, you can get a feel for how well the car handles at speed and around corners and how comfortable you feel while driving. If anything doesn’t live up to your expectations or just doesn’t sit right with you, walk away. This isn’t the car for you.
Taking time to consider other cars within the same class at the dealership will give you a comparable option to your first choice. Equally, you may end up with a more suitable vehicle that you’d never even considered.
Choose your car
Like anything, you are entitled to take more than just one car for a spin during a test drive. Once you step out of “the one,” your choice should be clear. What’s more, buying a car isn’t a time-sensitive thing, even if the salesperson makes you feel like it is! So take your time to decide. Sleep on it if you have to.
Bear in mind that whatever option you go for, it’s all down to your individual taste. There’s never been a more exciting time to jump on the financing ladder, either. With the motoring industry pulling out all the stops from Tesla to Volkswagen, buying a car has never looked so good!
Ready to sit in the hottest vehicles around? What will your next set of wheel look like?