This year as in every year, thousands of drivers will be looking to change their car at some point, but the hardest thing for them to do is to decide which car best suits their needs and their lifestyle. Many factors play a part in this choice, including the size of the car, weight, economy of running and of course, budget. All these play an important role in the vehicle buying process.
When buying a vehicle,size does matter. Unless you are fabulously wealthy and money is no object to you, (yeah… wouldn’t we all like to be there!) you should choose the most economical style of car for your expected usage. For example, if you live alone or only with your partner, there is no point getting a people carrier. You would never use all of the seats and would be paying more than you needed to on fuel emissions and the reduced economy of running compared with if you bought a smaller car.
Another question considered by many people (that is people who do not reside in the US) is whether they should buy a manual or automatic transmission. Automatics may give a slightely smoother ride with less noticeable gear changing but they do use slightly more fuel (about 5% more than a manual gearbox driven economically.) If you are buying a car for a youngster or new driver then an automatic could be considered as a good option because a manual gearbox in the hands of a “boy/girl racer” will burn up much more fuel than an automatic (up to 15% more!)
Four wheel drives were growing in popularity before the snow and ice and with the recent problems, they have become even more popular but there are other costs to consider when buying a “Chelsea Tractor”. Four-wheel drive uses more fuel than two-wheel drive so you will likely be topping up your tank more often. You will also pay a higher road tax (in the UK) because of the larger engine capacity
Another thought to bare in mind is Should you buy a petrol or diesel car or a hybrid or electric. All of these effect the environment in different ways. If you drive mostly long distances then a diesel is a good option. you will in general pay about £3000 more initially but the fuel cost per mile driven is better than petrol. if you mostly run about town then your choices are between petrol, hybrid and electric. Obviously the electric car has the lowest CO2 emmissions but where does its electricity come from (coal or gas power station?) the hybrids are more expensive than petrol cars but their mpg is better too. By simply looking at the cars CO2 output we can all do our bit for the environment as the lower the value, the less we are going to pollute. There is a government incentive to buy a low emissions car as your road tax will be considerably less if your car has a low CO2 rating. Some cars even qualify for zero road tax!
There are many things to consider when buying a new car not only the price on the windscreen. You need to bear in mind the cost of maintaining the car and the cost of spare parts, the price of road tax, the insurance and the fuel economy