Exhaust-ive detail: what should your next car look like?

Buying a car is a considered purchase. Short of buying a home, it’s likely to be one of the most expensive purchases you’ll make in your lifetime, so you naturally want to make the right choice. 

However, when there are so many things to consider, how do you decide which car is for you? Do you want something new or second-hand? Do you want to buy outright, finance or lease? Do you want a diesel, electric or hybrid car? Use these pointers to help you choose your next set of wheels. 

What’s your budget?

This is probably the most important question to figure out first and foremost. After all, you’re unlikely to be getting a Porsche if you’re funding your next purchase through a part-time job. 

At this point, it would be wise to decide whether you want to buy new or used, as both have their own merits and setbacks. With a new car, you’ll have the reassurance of a manufacturer’s warranty, and you’ll have a much greater say in the look and features you want to add. However, you’ll need to take into account how much more a brand new car will depreciate in value in comparison to a used car if you’re planning to sell on in the future.

Buying used will give you more bang for your buck, but you’ll want to make sure you buy from a reputable source – and you’ll need to consider extra factors such as mileage and service history before deciding how much value for money you’re getting

If you’ve set your heart on a new car but your budget doesn’t stretch to the purchase of one, you can always enter online competitions like those at Dream Car Giveaways in the meantime and be in with the chance of landing the car of your dreams for the price of a ticket. 

What do you plan to do with it?

Are you planning to just nip around town on your daily commute or will you be spending your weekends off-roading? If you spend your time negotiating tiny city-centre parking spaces, a campervan will not do. 

Think about who will be riding along with you: if you have a young family, car-seat compatibility and boot space will be important factors in your decision-making. Be realistic and draw up a shortlist of cars that may meet these criteria. After all, you might love to have a nippy little sportscar, but you’re bound to struggle to fit a pram and several kids in the back.

What will your car run on?

With the government’s plans to move all cars to electric by 2035, it’s worth considering now what sort of fuel your new car will run on. If you’re environmentally conscious, it might be worth evaluating the impact your next car’s emissions will have and considering a hybrid or electric car. 

As the clock ticks nearer to the government’s current cut-off dates for sales of new petrol and diesel cars, you may also want to keep this in mind if you’re planning on reselling in the future. 

With so many different criteria to think about, it’s important to be clear about what your budget, needs and usage are likely to be from the outset. Plan ahead, be savvy, do your research and you could end up with a fantastic set of wheels that lasts you for years to come.