Replacing your car is a major expense, perhaps one of the most major you’ll make. It’s also something most people rely on everyday, and something that carries your precious family. So, it’s well-worth spending some time considering exactly what the best options for you are.
The Budget – before and after buying a car
The starting point has to be your budget. It’s good to set this before you get looking, as its easy to get carried away! Buying a used car, even a nearly new one will save you thousands. It’s also worth considering the other costs the car will involve, such as:
MPG – Miles you get per gallon of fuel. Over a year, this can make a big difference.
Insurance – You can Google a car make to see which insurance group it is in, or even use a comparison site to get quotes for different cars.
Road Tax – This depends of the emissions of the car, they higher they are, the more you pay.
Gear changes and fuel
Automatic vs Manual – Automatics are more expensive to buy. But they are less work to drive and particularly good if driving mostly in cities and towns. Manuals can be preferred if you like to really ‘drive’ (i.e want the most responsive braking and acceleration) or do mostly long journeys. Although automatics these days may come in semi-automatic with the option to select gears should you wish. Automatically switching through the gears can also be more fuel efficient which can offset some of the premium price.
Diesel vs petrol – Diesels are very much out of favour now. However the focus of the future is really on electric or hybrid, and so both diesel and petrol are in a similar boat, and there are only minor penalties on brand new diesels. Petrol is slightly cheaper than diesel, but diesels can be great on MPG, so you may wish to take advantage of the better prices available on diesels at the moment.
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Brand, spec & power
Brand – you probably have some preference in mind. You need to think about which model and body type (hatchback, estate etc) you want. Estates are fairly rare beasts these days, as the preference shifts to either smaller cars or SUV types. You also need to think about what spec is important to you and what you are prepared to pay for. All the extras increase the value – sportier versions, better interiors, alloy wheels, parking sensors, infotainment etc, even the popularity of the colour.
Obviously larger engines equate to more power, and more cost to run. However modern turbo-charged engines get more power for their size and there may be an engine size sweet spot…. so its good to read some reviews.
If you don’t know which brand to buy What Car and Parkers Car price Guide review most cars and detail best-in-class. Do your research on selling prices so you know if you are getting a good deal for the spec involved, and be prepared to negotiate.
Other Things to Consider
JD Power – UK vehicle dependability study – this measures reliability through consumer studies and feedback on numbers of faults found.
Euro NCAP safety ratings – a 5 star system that independently rates cars across 4 key safety areas for their performance in crash testing. Know how safe your car will be in an accident.
Checks – Be sure you thoroughly check the car before you purchase it, and use your test drive to really explore how it runs.
With such an expensive and important purchase the best way to be safe is to buy from a garage where you have mechanics and technicians on hand to fully review and service the car so you can be sure its a good investment! At Tivoli, we are specialists in Audi, Volkswagen and Volvo, 3 leading quality brands. We can use our 20 years of experience to help you find the car for you. Talk to us about what you are after and we will help you source it. When you buy from us, you leave with the peace of mind that you car is fully checked and serviced. See our current stock or give us a call.