Those in the market for a new car have a variety of factors to consider. It’s easy to be lead (or mislead) by sophisticated marketing and other superficial considerations. But given that this is one of the most major and consequential purchases you’ll make in your life, it’s worth taking a step back and thinking about the vehicle you’re buying, and whether the alternatives might be worth exploring.
So, what are the significant factors?
What will you use the car for?
If you’re driving every day for hundreds of miles, you’ll need a very different sort of vehicle than if you were driving for just a few minutes every month. Considering your needs carefully is therefore essential. In general, the more miles you’re putting in, the more that things like comfort and fuel economy will matter to you. Make sure that you test drive the car before you commit to the purchase – this might help you to avoid a headache later on.
What is your budget?
Having an idea of how much money you want to spend will help you to avoid making poor decisions, or wasting your time looking at vehicles that are well beyond your means. If you’re paying monthly, then you should set a rate based on your earnings. As a rule of thumb, around a tenth of your take-home pay might be committed to paying for your vehicle. This figure should include not only the price of the car, but how expensive it might be to run.
How many passengers will you be taking?
Similarly, a singleton might be able to get away with a cosier interior, while a family of four will benefit from something larger. Similarly, if you’re going to be transporting a lot of cargo, you’ll need plenty of room in the boot – and the ability to fold down the seats in the back.
Do you want to go electric?
It’s an interesting time to buy a car, in that we’re in the middle of a transition. Having said that, the point at which the Battery Electric Vehicle becomes the norm is still a few years away. If you want to adopt before then, then you should think about the availability of charging facilities near you.
Once you’ve picked out a suitable car, you should think about how you’re going to care for it in the future. This means learning how often it’ll need to be serviced, what kind of fuel you’re going to be putting into it, and how expensive things like replacement tyres are going to be. You can shop for Michellin tyres online, and in most cases they’re quite affordable.