When you’re in the market for a new car, there are a lot of factors to consider.
From its safety record in car accidents to its interior space and exterior appearance, making sure you know what your priorities are will help you narrow down your options and make the best decision for you.
These are our most important elements to think about when choosing a new car.
How much can you spend on a car? Is this going to be a large outright payment or will it be paid off monthly? How much of your salary can you afford to spend on a car? Your budget will help you determine if you should be looking at a new or used car. Some sources suggest that you should spend around 20% of your income – less if you’re not a real car person, only looking for a way of getting from A to B.
If you decide on a new vehicle, your budget deliberations should include whether you’ll lease or buy the car. Both options have their advantages. When you lease, you put down a lower deposit amount and pay smaller monthly amounts. But when you buy, you can sell at any time, you won’t be penalised for going over your allowed mileage and you can drive it as long as it’s road-worthy, resulting in lower overall costs.
The safety record of your preferred vehicle can play an important part in your considerations. This is particularly true if you’re looking to buy a family car. You don’t want to play with the safety of your kids and other loved ones.
You can find vehicle safety ratings online, so just a simple search can help you narrow down which the safest cars are. Most of the world’s regions will have their own methods of ranking cars for safety. Just find the appropriate one for you and you’ll be on your way to picking the safest car.
What you’ll be using the vehicle for will affect how big it needs to be. Are you ferrying around your family of five – plus your kids’ friends – every day? A large SUV could be the most appropriate option here. Will it just be you, zipping around the city? A three-door compact car would work for you. Do you transport a varying number of people in your car? A minivan can give you the ability to add or remove seats, keeping everyone comfortable.
As well as who you’ll be transporting, you’ll also need to think about what you’ll be carrying around. Does your family play a lot of equipment-heavy sports? Do you go grocery shopping for yourself and your neighbours? Or do you rarely have anything else to move around? Thinking about what you’ll need your car for is one of the most important factors to consider when looking for a new one.
How much you worry about the environment will have an impact on the type of vehicle you consider. As a general rule, the bigger your vehicle, the higher its emissions will be. So if you can get a smaller car, you’ll be contributing less pollution to the atmosphere than if you were driving a huge SUV.
The kind of fuel and the amount of driving you do will also have an environmental impact. An electric or hybrid vehicle may be more expensive to pay for initially, but will result in lower running costs and a significantly lower environmental effect.
Once you’ve considered these factors, you should have a good idea of the kind of car you’re looking for. The next thing to do is make sure you get the best deal possible, ensuring you don’t pay more than you have to.