Car buying can be exciting, but it’s also a big investment that needs careful consideration. It’s something you’ll use for years to come to go on road trips with friends, family vacations, and your everyday commute to work. So it’s important that it suits you well. With so many options on the market these days, it can be hard to choose which one you should go for. From recent safety technology to entertainment features, each vehicle will have its own unique set of perks and downsides. However, before you get into all of that, there are some fundamental things to keep in mind when buying a car to ensure you make the right choice.
1. New VS Used
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether to buy new or used. This decision will be based on personal preference and your budget. If you already have a make you’re loyal to, or simply always wanted to own, looking at your local licensed dealerships is always a good start. If you’re located on the Sunshine Coast, for example, looking for car yards in Caboolture would be a good starting point. Similarly, wherever you’re located, try and find a reputable dealership of your preferred car brand in your area and look at their new and pre-owned bargains. Obviously, new cars have zero mileage on them, but they tend to be more expensive, and used cars are more affordable, but might not last as long as a new one. Checking out the price range for both, as well as the conditions and warranties they come with, is the first step you should take.
2. Diesel Or Regular Gasoline
For a long time, gas had the advantage over diesel fuel because it was cheaper and cars ran more efficiently on it. However, as technology advances and vehicles become more sophisticated, the price gap between diesel and gasoline has significantly narrowed as petrol engines have improved their fuel consumption compared to those driven by diesel. Additionally, there are even some car models that have a lesser carbon footprint nowadays even though they run on diesel. As such, there are no specific advantages of one over the other any longer when it comes to newer models. Of course, cars that run on gas are still able to go from 0 to 100 much faster than diesel cars. If you’re looking at older models, then you might want to do your research on the car’s fuel consumption and overall performance to see which one would be better for you.
3. Electric Cars
Speaking of the carbon footprint, if you want to go the eco-friendly route, then considering an electric or hybrid car is also something to consider. Much like with anything else, there are some advantages and drawbacks when it comes to this type of vehicle as well. Electric cars are for the environment, and choosing one means that you’re doing your part in helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, they’re very cost-effective when it comes to maintenance costs. The main drawback of electric cars is their relatively shorter range per charge, which means they can’t go as far as regular gasoline-powered vehicles. This means having to make more stops on longer trips. However, there are charging stations that you can stop at for quick recharges if your car allows it – not all do though, and your convenience and ease of use will heavily depend on how many charging stations there are on your route.
Regardless of what car you choose, when it comes to choosing between four and two-wheel drive options, especially if you’re in a country like Australia where we experience all kinds of weather conditions throughout the year, then four-wheel drive might be something to consider. If you have a four-wheel-drive car, then this means that it distributes power to all the wheels equally and can climb steep inclines better compared to a two-wheel-drive vehicle. However, because having a four-wheel-drive makes a vehicle heavier, fuel consumption is likely to be worse than with a comparable two-wheel drive car. Think about how you’ll use your car – do you plan on going off-roading? Do you live in an area that experiences weather conditions that are harsher compared to other locations, like rain and snow? The answer to these questions should heavily influence your decision on whether or not you need a four-wheel-drive car.
One thing to keep in mind when buying a car is the cost of maintaining it on an ongoing basis. Naturally, some cars might be more affordable than others or on the other hand, depending on the brand and model, your first few years of maintenance costs can also be pretty steep. Still, this is something you have to consider carefully because these costs can add up over time. Of course, there are multiple factors that affect car maintenance costs, such as the type of engine the car has and how it runs, but a lot of this is dependent on your driving style too – if you’re an aggressive driver who speeds all around town, then naturally your maintenance costs will be higher compared to if you’re a more laid-back driver who only goes the speed limit and obeys traffic rules. The age of the car also plays a role in how much maintenance it requires – newer cars tend to be less problematic than older ones. Finally, whether you park your car in a garage or outdoors is also a key factor in determining how often you have to get your car maintained.
6. Needs And Wants
While it’s a good idea to go with a car you really want, it must be remembered that some of those cars might not be as practical as others. For example, although some car enthusiasts might prefer sports cars because of the raw power they possess and the speed they can achieve on open roads, these kinds of vehicles can also be quite impractical for some people – maybe you don’t always drive on open roads, or maybe you have to pick your kids up from school more than you’re going to go for 20-minute drives on weekends with friends. The size of the car is also something to keep in mind – if you live in a city, then maybe having a smaller car would be more suitable than one that’s up to double the size.
All in all, when buying a new car, there are many factors to consider and they’re not only based on personal preference – there are some things that come into play that you likely couldn’t have predicted if you’ve never owned a car before. Of course, the best way to find out if a car really suits you is to try it out for yourself – test drive it to see how easy or difficult it is to park, accelerate and brake. If possible, visit a mechanic beforehand who can give you an idea of what kind of maintenance costs are involved with owning and running that particular vehicle.