When it comes to our spending habits, the things we choose to splash out on and the things we’re more conservative with vary from person to person.

For example, when it comes to phones, some of us are desperate to upgrade to the latest iPhone as soon as there’s a whiff of it’s release. However, those less fussed about their gadgets are quite happy to stick with their old Windows mobile until the day the old thing finally dies a death.

The same can be said for cars. For some of us, cars are a symbol of status and we’ll happily shell out thousands of pounds to drive a brand-new Audi RS4, while others simply want a car that’s practical and will hold its value for as long as possible.

Whatever your motives are for purchasing a new vehicle, it’s important your car meets your needs. Afterall, whether you want a cheap run around, or you’re looking to splurge on something a little more indulgent, purchasing a car is a big investment and you don’t want to find yourself stuck with a car that isn’t right.

But these days, with so much choice available how do you decide which is best? Dealers will be quick to give you the hard sell on a vehicle so they can shift whatever’s on their forecourt and it’s all too easy to get sucked in, when actually – the right vehicle for you could look very different from what a dealer is pushing.

To avoid this sort of situation, we’ve put together a list of factors to consider before you take the plunge, so you can be sure your new car will meet your expectations!

1. Vehicle Type


Deciding on the vehicle type is the easiest way to start narrowing down your choice. When choosing which type to go for, you should consider what will work best for your lifestyle. For example, if you’ve got a family in tow, you’ll want something practical with enough space that you don’t feel crammed in on top of each other, in which case an Estate or SUV are good options to consider.

Hatchbacks are also a practical choice for smaller families, however if you’re looking for something more luxurious then a saloon may be a better choice. And for those young couples wanting to show off in something faster and flashier, a coupe or sports car is a good option.

2. Transmission


Automatic transmissions are slowly taking over, and it won’t be long before future generations are completely oblivious to the idea of a manual car. However, manual cars are still the preferred option for many - mainly by the older generation that are slow on the uptake (sorry Dad). More practically though, if you’re likely to be driving a lot in traffic (who isn’t!) then an automatic transmission is easier on the left leg.

Whichever you prefer, just be sure the transmission of the vehicle you decide to go for is the right one for your needs.

3. Fuel Type


Twenty years ago, fuel was simply diesel or petrol. However, climate change and poor air quality has forced manufacturers to produce alternative fuelled vehicles (AFVs), including plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles (EVs).

Unfortunately, AFVs and EVs don’t come cheap. However, to encourage drivers to switch to ‘greener’ vehicles, the government are currently offering grants for certain low emission vehicles. So, if you’re conscious of your carbon footprint, an EV certainly worth looking in to.

4. Running Costs


The efficiency of your car’s engine can have a big impact on its running costs. Generally, smaller cars are more economical, so if you can get away with a small car like the Fiat 500 or the Vauxhall Corsa your fuel costs will be significantly lower than that of SUV drivers.

When it comes to comparing fuel prices, diesel is more expensive than petrol per litre, but diesel engines generally deliver more miles to the gallon, so the costs tend to balance each other out.

But recent studies have revealed that EVs are in fact the most cost-effective option over a four-year period, taking into account purchase price, fuel costs, and depreciation – just another reason to go green!



Finally, manufacturers can be stingy and often amenities that you think would be included as standard features, often aren’t. So, whether you’re buying a used car or one that’s brand new, make sure it’s equipped with the extras you want - a built-in sat nav, heated seats, Apple CarPlay etc, don’t just assume your car has all these features! If in doubt, check with the dealership supplying the car.

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