Probably the first thing to consider is why you need a new car and then decide what you want it for. It’s easy to be seduced by a showroom full of glittering, pristine vehicles but before you visit take a little time to think it through. After all, you don’t want to be taken for a ride!
Researching your options
The next thing to do is make a list of what you want from your new car. Are you into the luxury bracket? Is optimum tech what you’re looking for? What about the style – smooth and sleek like a neat convertible or chunky and solid like a 4×4? You’ll also want to consider the value you’re getting from what you buy, and that means thinking about engine size and type, the fuel used and what length of warranty you’ll get. Remember that when your car rolls off the forecourt with you in the driving seat you’re in charge, so make sure your research is as wide as you have time to make it.
Looking for luxury?
Car manufacturers have always provided luxury models and today there are many more affordable luxury cars on the market. But what is a luxury car? In the past you would find them defined perhaps through the brand, the fact that they had more powerful engines, advanced safety, better handling, plenty of leather and wood in the interiors and state-of-the-art electronic gadgetry.
Many manufacturers have these as standard in their higher trim level models and you can get a luxurious feel from your next car without having to break the bank. Leather seats, for example, are becoming the norm when you don’t want synthetics and though you’ll pay more you’ll get the comfort and style you want.
Keeping it tech
As with anything new you need to decide how far you want to go with the tech aspects of your next car. This also feeds into the “what do you want your new vehicle to do?” question. If you’re looking for an about-town car then you may not want all the gizmos on offer, but many new cars come with neat tech as standard. For example, navigation system, hands-free mobile communication and Bluetooth integration are standard features in many new cars, as are touch screen controls. These all make your driving experience easier and more comfortable, so it’s always worth seeking out the models that provide the features you want, especially if they are an integral part of the cost.
Think too about the sound system and speakers if you’re going to be doing long journeys, especially with kids. You could look to adding back seat video screens with earphones for DVDs to make those journeys just a bit less stressful!
Slapping on the style
Many of us want our car to stand out in a crowd, and although your budget might restrict you there’s no reason you can’t get a stylish vehicle for less than you might expect. Check out a reliable and reputable dealer to see what’s around when you’re planning to buy and get a feel for what’s out there and what attracts you. Sure, you might be drawn to a 4×4 or a convertible but you might also need a straightforward family sedan or a small runabout. Manufacturers have long had an eye on what is attractive in terms of car styling so the chances are you’ll find something that both pleases you in terms of the style and works with how much you are prepared to pay.
Economy – or not?
If you’re not bothered by the cost of gas then you will find many luxurious vehicles that will suit you. They may not be the gas-guzzlers of old but they will eat up the cash. The development of hybrid cars, which are both stylish and hi-tech, is a way that many drivers are exploring to get the benefit of a vehicle that looks good but also significantly cuts the cost of fuel. Hybrid cars are also helpful to the environment because they don’t pump as many fumes into the air as cars that run solely on fossil fuels. If that’s a consideration for you then it’s worth exploring those options. Hybrid cars tend to be more expensive, initially, than standard fuel vehicles, but are also more likely to hold their value when you want to move on to something else.
So, decide what you really need and want, research your options, find a good dealership and get your brilliant next car!