Buying a new car’s a big deal. As well as being a major financial commitment, the vehicle you choose can have an impact on your quality of life – especially if you climb into the driver’s seat on a daily basis. To help ensure you make the right decision when you’re selecting your next set of wheels, it’s worth asking yourself the following questions.
How much will it cost to run?
Of course, the price of the vehicles you peruse will be a major factor in your decision making process, but it’s important to look beyond this to the running costs you can expect to incur once you’ve bought your car. These will include certain standing charges, such as road tax and insurance. Road tax is calculated according a car’s official CO2 emissions, the size of its engine and the date it was first registered. Insurance costs depend on a range of variables, including the value of the vehicle and its engine power. You can save money when you’re trying to buy car insurance by using the services of specialist brokers and shopping around, but if you’re keen to keep your cover costs in check, it’s wise to choose a model that falls into a lower insurance group.
Then there are your ongoing running costs to consider, including the amount you will have to shell out on fuel, tyres, servicing and repairs. It’s a good idea to research the estimated running costs for the cars you are considering. This will help ensure you don’t experience a nasty shock once you get behind the wheel.
Will it meet your practical needs?
It’s easy to become fixated on issues like aesthetics and engine performance when you’re buying a car, but make sure you pay attention to the practicalities too. From superminis to family cars, estates and 4x4s, there’s no shortage of models to choose from. When you’re perusing the market, think about things like how many passengers you will need to take, how much boot space you require, where you will be parking and the types of road surfaces you will be travelling along.
Does it perform well in reviews?
Before you commit to purchasing a particular model, take some time to read driver reviews. This will help you to get a clearer idea of everything from the vehicle’s ease of control to its reliability and comfort levels. It’s also a good idea to check out the Euro NCAP safety rating. Reading reviews and paying attention to safety test results could highlight potential advantages and disadvantages that you wouldn’t have considered yourself.
Once you’ve got a favourite car in mind, make sure you take it for a proper test drive. It’s impossible to get a full idea of what a vehicle’s really like before you’ve actually sat in the driver’s seat and taken it for a spin.