Don’t Be Talked into the Wrong Car Choice

Pink Mercedes-Benz

When you’re choosing a new car – or new to you, it’s all too easy to be swayed by persuasive sales staff, or even by your partner or parent. But the choice is yours, and it’s important to remember that before you part with your money. Be clear in your mind about what you want and need from your car, and what makes and models you’ve shortlisted from your research. Here are some pointers to help you clarify your priorities before anyone tries to interfere.


Only you know how much money you can comfortably afford to spend. It may be more than your relatives are advising and less than the trader seems to think. Allow for some flexibility if you can, having checked out the going rate for the sort of car, age and condition you’d be happy with. Don’t let anyone talk you into taking a leap or plunge from the price bracket you’ve set yourself.

Running costs

A cheap car won’t necessarily be cheap to run. It could be a gas-gobbler, for instance, or have high carbon emissions, especially if it’s several years old, letting you in for higher taxation. But it could be as cheap to run and maintain as to purchase, with no major problems. A cheap price label might reflect nothing more concerning than an unpopular colour or unfashionable model.


It’s essential to feel comfortable in the driving seat of your car. You’ll drive better for being at ease and in convenient reach of all the gadgets and accessories. If you’re tall, you’ll also want plenty of legroom and a supportive seat. Take a test drive to find out how it feels. How comfortable will your backseat passengers be? Try a rear seat, too.


Before setting out to buy a car, check the safety records of your preferred makes and models. Read reviews and forum discussions for some insight into possible safety issues. When test-driving a car, check how clear a view you get out of the rear and side windows, with the help of mirrors as necessary. Can you see clearly all around while still facing forward? You may feel better protected from potential impact in a large car than a small one, while a small, compact one might feel easier to control. Choose a car you feel safe driving.


If you envisage using your car for long drives, you’ll want something reasonably fast and powerful. Highroad restrictions will limit your speed, though, so there’s little point in paying extra for a super-fast model. If you need your car mainly for short, local trips, you’ll be wise to choose a less powerful one and profit from its low gas consumption. The lower capacity will encourage you to drive more slowly, too, enhancing safety.


A large vehicle will be ideal for ferrying kids, dogs and equipment around. If providing lifts for a wheelchair user or anyone with mobility problems, you’ll need plenty of legroom and a good-sized trunk. Bear in mind, though, that parking a large car can be problematic, when suitable spaces are in short supply, whereas you can slip a small one into any little roadside slot that the larger ones have had to bypass. Small cars tend to be easier to maneuver, as you can see around them more easily.


A car can say a lot about its owner. If image is important to you, put it high on your list of priorities. You’ll want a car that feels right for you, just like a garment or a house. This aspect of choosing is a very personal one, and is really down to instinct. Don’t worry too much about the current trend – it’ll probably change soon. Choose the car that speaks to you.

When you’ve made your choice, and your acquisition, don’t give the other possibilities a backward glance. With your informed and considered judgment, you can be sure you’ve picked well. With any luck, you’ll have some money over for a celebratory drink – when you get home.

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