- Posted 15 Jun
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A new car is a major purchase that will need to serve your family for the next several years. Your budget and the car loan you may need to finance are obviously important factors, but there is more to consider than just finances.
Below are four questions you should ask to help you choose the car that is best for your needs.
1. What size and type of vehicle is most useful?
Obviously a smaller car will have better fuel mileage and be easier to park, but if you have a large family or often need to haul people or cargo, you’ll need to think about a larger SUV, hatchback or wagon.
Hatchbacks with three or five doors are economical and practical for families. They can carry more than a standard sedan and the large rear hatchback makes it easy to move stuff in and out of.
If you need a larger vehicle, a seven-or-eight-person van has a similar design with a third row of seating.
Sedans are a good option if you mainly carry people and want the highest passenger comfort.
2. What fuel type should you choose?
There are three main options for fuel choice, each with pros and cons:
- Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) vehicles are a little more expensive upfront, but you’ll reap the benefits in lower fuel costs over the life of the car. LPG engines are a good environmental choice, as this type of fuel burns cleaner than petrol or diesel and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
- Petrol cars are the easiest to fill up because the fuel is commonly available everywhere. The downside is that petrol generates more pollution than other fuel types and oil prices continue to rise.
- Diesel engines are up to 30 per cent more efficient than petrol engines, though diesel fuel does not burn as clean as petrol or LPG. Diesel cars also tend to be more expensive upfront than their petrol engine equivalents.
3. What about safety features?
What safety features are available and how safe are the vehicles you are considering? The Australian New Car Assessment Program provides an ANCAP safety rating for all makes and models and is a great place to start researching. Keep in mind when looking at used cars that newer models will typically have the best safety features compared to older models.
4. What about ongoing expenses?
Finally, you’ll want to think about additional expenses you may have to face in the next few years. New cars come with comprehensive warranties that last for years, but older, used cars can break down and require unexpected maintenance.
You’ll also face other ongoing costs, such as insurance, car finance fees, roadside assistance, and vehicle registration. These vary depending on the car you choose, but in general a smaller, less expensive car will be cheaper to operate and insure.
The car buying experience requires research and expertise. If you want someone on your side to answer your car purchase questions and help with your next car loan, contact Australian Credit and Finance’s car loan experts today.