Are you thinking about getting a new car? It’s an exciting time to daydream, research and try drive a bargain. But with endless options at your fingertips, how will you know that you’re making the right decision or when a car is right for you? Whether you’re looking to cut down on fuel costs, make the switch to electric, have room for another child’s car seat or rack up some serious mileage (when you can), your lifestyle choices will have a major impact on deciding which car is the perfect one for you. Don’t fret though, we’re here to help get you on your way with five questions that everyone should ask themselves before driving into the sunset!
1. What’s Your Type
To get going you need to ask yourself, what kind of person are you? Have you been waiting eagerly for the right moment to go green and join the electric revolution? Or maybe you like the idea but aren’t quite there yet and want to experiment with a hybrid? Perhaps you’re happy sticking with your tried-and-tested petrol car, or aren’t ready to call it quits with your diesel? Knowing which side of the fence you’re on when it comes to engine type is essential when narrowing down your search. These days, many car models come with multiple options depending on the type of engine you’re after.
2. Sizing Up
You’ve decided on the type of fuel – one step closer! Now you’ve to think about your size needs. Will you be carrying many passengers? Maybe you’ve kids (or a very big dog), routinely carry a kayak or are planning on expanding your family and need something roomy, like an SUV or Crossover. Maybe you don’t need all that space and would rather go with something more compact. In which case smaller is the big idea, like a hatchback. Just remember that your needs should be driving your decision – pun intended – not your wants.
3. Setting a Budget
While it’s easy to picture yourself behind the wheel of a flashy new car, you’ll have to first decide what’s your budget. How much can you afford to spend? Setting your budget will immediately help you refine your search. Are you in a position to purchase the car up-front or do you require a finance option? Sum up your monthly car expenses including things like insurance, tax, maintenance and fuel as they all add up. –Luckily most car models have various price ranges to suit depending on your budget.
4. Which Driver Are You?
OK be honest now – how often are you really trekking around boulder-strewn mountain passes, or even undertaking long car journeys for that matter? If these aren’t high up on your priority list and you live in an urban area where you would rather something that’s going to fit into ridiculously small car parking spaces with low fuel consumption, try something like a small hatchback. If long trips are your thing though, you want to ensure you’ve got a car that can go the distance (literally). Understanding the type of driving you’re going to do will help you focus the search even more when you consider comfort, fuel efficiency or battery range.
5. Test Driving
So, you’ve assessed your car needs, set your budget, made your list of priorities and hopefully landed on your perfect car – what’s next? You need to plan your test drive so you can see does it drive as well as it looks. According to contributing motoring editor at The Sunday Independent, Geraldine Herbert, it’s recommended to test drive the car for at least half an hour on different types of roads to help you decide if this is the right car for you or not. With current lockdown restrictions in place unfortunately, this means you’ll have to plan your test drive when restrictions are lifted but you can still get ahead by registering your interest with your chosen dealership – this will mean you can have an appointment ready to go when the time is right!