Buying a car is an exciting and highly personal experience. With so many options including fuel economy and safety, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Adequate research and understanding of potential vehicles will help you narrow down your search. Take the stress out of buying your next car with this helpful guide.

Here are four considerations to keep in mind.

1. Type of Driving:

Before you begin to research cars that you may be interested in, make note of how you are going to use your vehicle. Do you need to commute daily? If you’re primarily using your car for daily drives to work, you’ll want something comfortable and fuel-efficient. A busy work schedule is stressful enough, so search for a dependable vehicle with typically minimal maintenance requirements.

Do you regularly go on country trips, camping or longer distance holidays? Do you carry a load, a car full of children and all their gear? Do you tow a trailer, caravan or boat? Consider the demands of the car on these types of trips as they are different to regular city driving.

The choice of engine to cope with the added weight and load should be considered. Should it be a petrol or a diesel engine? Which provides better drivability and economy to match the demands on these longer trips? The drive type in terms of FWD, RWD, AWD or 4×4 as these provide different grip levels and traction on different terrains and all add to the ease of driving and safety.

2. Number of Passengers:

The number of seats in your car is a crucial deciding factor. Do you need to transport passengers? A minivan will fit more people safely than a two-door sedan. Utility vehicles and station wagons boast a range of seating options, including folding seats. Understand how often you will usually be driving with passengers to refine the search for your next car.

The number of passengers is the starting point but you should consider the size of your passengers and where they usually would sit in the car. A medium sized SUV will cope easily with 3 small children but a back seat with fast growing teenagers and their friends approaching 183cms may be a different proposition. When you truly understand the demands of carrying your regular passengers you will choose the right vehicle fit for purpose.

3. Cargo Capacity:

Not all cars are capable of pulling trailers or moving heavy objects. Will you need to tow or carry cargo? A ute will be better suited to moving heavy loads than a compact car. Some smaller cars may be equipped with a removable tow bar, but if you anticipate frequent hauling, a ute or SUV is better for the job.

If your car cannot cope with daily cargo loads or weekend demands then it’s not the right car for your needs.

The demands of a young family for example with prams, porter cots make rear load capacity crucial. Especially when split fold seats cannot be lowered as baby seats are locked in the rear seat for a number of years. Good, popular choices of cars or SUV’s for other buyers may not suit your circumstances and can often be eliminated as a choice because they do not deliver cargo space necessary.

Understanding the demands of your lifestyle at any particular time when buying a new car helps you reduce often the overwhelming choices of vehicle to those that meet your strict needs criteria.

4. Safety:

Safety should always be considered when doing research for your next car. Typical road conditions will affect which safety features you need. Are you interested in added safety features?

Are they offered in base models or will you have to stretch your budget and move up into the range in order to take advantage of the full suite of safety aids? Will this choice push you beyond your budget?

Safety choices will also steer you into eliminating certain good, popular vehicles because they will not offer all the safety aids that match your criteria or budget.

City driving may prioritise Low Speed Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) as minimum requirements in the next new car. These features including a Reversing Camera and Rear Cross Braking (RCB) may be more useful if you tend to drive in crowded urban areas.

Long distance regular driving may put different safety features as a higher priority such as High Speed AEB, Active Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Departure Warning and Assist (LDW) (LDA). Look into airbag placement and backseat safety if you plan to have children’s car seats in your vehicle. Make sure your vehicle has been properly inspected and deemed mechanically safe before purchase.

Need More Help?

How and where you drive will dictate which type of car will be most effective. Consider the comfort and safety of passengers and other drivers on the road. When you know how you will regularly be using your vehicle, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices.

Your next car is likely to be a significant purchase, so don’t be afraid to take your time or to ask for professional help if you need it. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed by the car jargon used in vehicle ads and dealerships, you can consult with a car buying advocate. This professional service can help you pinpoint the perfect car for you based on your needs and your budget.

At My Next Car Buying Advocacy we conduct detailed Client Needs Analysis as parts of our Car Buying Services to truly understand the needs of our clients so we can then match the Right Car at the Right Price.

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