Which type of car is ideal for you?
Every person is different and has different needs from their car. It is vitally important, when buying a car, that the type of car you choose fits your lifestyle and is ideal for what you need it to do.
Ask yourself the following questions before you commit to a purchase.
Questions about the car itself
What do you mainly use your car for?
Purchase a vehicle that will cater to your car needs most often.
Do you mostly use the car for your business commute or family travel? What kind of lifestyle do you lead â€“ do you practice sports like mountain biking or diving, or enjoy doing 4×4 trails?
If you travel mostly in urban areas and only do general driving, but want to go on a safari trip once a year, it is not wise or cost effective to buy, insure and maintain an expensive 4×4. Choose a car that suits your specific needs and requirements.
How many people should the car be able to transport?
If the purpose of your vehicle includes transporting more than just yourself, you will then need to consider just how much seating and space you need in the car. Do you have children, and if so, how many and at what ages? Are there pets, and do they travel along?
Catering for others’ needs is just as important as catering for your own. Unless you can afford multiple cars in the household, your choice should satisfy most of your needs most of the time.
How important is safety and safety features to you?
Would you rather buy the safest car you can afford, or are luxury features a prime consideration considering the comfort of those who travel with you?
Do you want a manual or automatic car?
Do you enjoy controlling the performance of the car, or are you happy to relax and let the car do the work? Some people find driving a manual car tedious, others find driving an automatic car boring or frustrating.
Do you want a petrol or diesel car?
Diesel cars offer far superior fuel economy and more driving enjoyment than a petrol car with an equivalent engine size because of the high torque value generated low down in the engine rev range. However, diesels generally require higher maintenance due to more frequent oil changes and are generally a bit more expensive than the equivalent petrol model.
Questions about the external driving conditions
What are the conditions of the roads you frequent?
If you live in a big city with well maintained tar roads, you have a much wider range of vehicle to choose from, while those living in more rural areas with lots of dirt roads will need to choose a vehicle more suited to the rugged terrain.
What is the weather like?
The climate should also influence your vehicle purchase, especially if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions. Areas which frequently experience heavy rain or snow may require a larger 4×4 type vehicle, while those which experience extreme heat may warrant a convertible or air conditioning at the very least.
Costs related to the type of car you choose
Different types of cars come with different inherent risk profiles, regardless of the risk profile of the driver, and thus will come with different insurance premiums. Sporty cars will generally come with higher insurance premiums compared to normal city cars. Check with your car insurance provider before you make the purchase to see what your premiums will be for the specific car you have in mind.
The various vehicle types will each come with their own maintenance and repair costs. Even though you might be able to afford a particular type of car, you might not be able to afford the additional costs that come with repairs and maintenance years down the line.
Resale of the car
Some manufacturers have a better reputation for reliability and low maintenance costs than others and so obtain higher resale values than rival makes. Keeping track of Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) and Initial Quality Survey (IQS) reports from institutions like JD Power are a good benchmark in performance.
There is no right or wrong car. By answering the questions above, hopefully you may be a lot closer to understanding what the best type of car for your lifestyle is.