How to Choose Your Next Car

First ask yourself some questions before making that new car purchase

"Affordability" - think of your budget

This is perhaps the most fundamental consideration. Purchasers planning to borrow can go online and use a "loan calculator" to work out how much they can afford each month. However many new car buyers often forget to factor in expenditures like fuel costs, insurance, road tax and breakdown cover. Remember these points.

Many men may have an inner James Bond dreaming of a snarling Aston Martin DB9 inside them but perhaps aHyundai i30 may be altogether more affordable and practical.

"Needs" - A practical approach to car buying

This is closely related to the affordability issue. There's little point in buying a small 3 door compact car when you have two children and a Labrador to fit inside. Also keep in mind how often your new vehicle will be driven (eg. once a week, every day). Will it be used mainly for short local trips (the superstore, the school-run), or will it need to travel the length and breadth of the country regularly? How many people need to fit in it? A full school run will need more seating than a trip to the supermarket.

What start out as "requirements" soon morph into "wants" when you consider them carefully. Even so, some of the following are positive enough to be included with wants:

Car Safety - important standards

Safety and security are of paramount importance for most people, right up there with affordability.

Think about how many airbags will be necessary as well as rear seat-belts and whether the car comes with integral child safety seats. Purchasers can get a good idea of the model's safety rating by its EuroNCAP score (that's "European New Car Assessment Programme").

Fuel Economy and Green Driving

Is fuel economy a consideration? Generally, the bigger the car, the greedier it becomes, but diesels are usually more fuel efficient than petrols, even if they're inclined to be a little slower. Think carefully about whether nifty acceleration is an essential or desirable.

The car's "greenness" can influence road tax; the less carbon emissions it dumps into the atmosphere, the cheaper the tax. There's another price consideration.

"Wants" - how to personalise your new car

Now we come to the pleasurable bits, although the more bespoke the requirements are, the longer the eager customer may have to wait before your new car is ready. What colour? What sound system? Can a sunroof and/or alloy wheels be added without of overstretching the finances?

Once all these have been sorted, all that's left is to enjoy your new car!