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Which car should I buy: Take the quiz
How to choose the right car
When it comes to buying the right car, you might want to consider:
- whether you want a new, used, or leased car
- your budget
- passenger space
- fuel efficiency, and
- what terrain you’ll drive on.
Like shoe shopping, the style, feel, brand, and space within a car are all things you might consider. But unless you’re doing your shoe shopping on Fifth Avenue, a new pair of boots probably won’t cost you up to (or even upwards of) tens of thousands of dollars. So, budgeting may play a slightly more important role in car shopping.
Our car-buying cheat sheet could make choosing the right car a little easier — and make sure to try the ‘Which car should I buy’ quiz?
You might be looking for a practical car to do some city driving that comes at a reasonable price.
Hatchbacks are generally smaller than other car types, meaning you might be able to squeeze into parking spots SUV drivers could only dream of. But small hatchbacks generally can’t tow as much as a ute or SUV.
They often have two or four passenger doors and the (usually roomy) boot is accessible from the back seats. This can create more cargo space when needed.
Benefits listed by Finder.com.au include the hatchback’s fuel efficiency, and that it can generally retain its value longer than some other types of cars.
Sedans are a popular choice, and for good reason.
They’re usually longer than a hatchback, with a bit more seating space, and have a boot that’s separated from the passenger seats. Because they’re lower to the ground, they can generally guzzle less petrol than some other models, such as some SUVs (help the planet and your wallet!). Their shape also means they could be less likely to roll over than other models, so safety-conscious buyers might opt for this model over others.
If you’re looking for a car that can get up to speed quickly, sedans are worth exploring.
Calling all soccer parents! SUVs make a great choice for those hauling their families, sports gear, musical instruments, prams, the cat carrier, a car seat… Basically, you need room, and a lot of it.
If you also like heading for the hills on the weekend, SUVs may fare better than other vehicles on off-road terrain.
The trade-off is that SUVs can generally cost a bit more, both on their purchase price and maintenance. And, SUVs may not be as environmentally friendly as other models, according to the Guardian.
Their larger size might limit your parking options. But hey, that five-minute walk to the office could be a great chance to pause before another day of meetings and school pickups.
You’re less about practicality, and more about style.
That said, there are some pros to coupes that go beyond aesthetics. Because coupes are lighter than certain other cars, breaking and acceleration performance is usually better.
Often coupes and sportscars have very small backseats, more suited to a pooch or handbag than a human passenger. So, if you’re hoping to chauffer your friends around, or start a family soon, you might want to plan for a second car. And if that’s not doable, it might be worth considering another option.
There’s plenty of other types of cars like utes, station wagons, people movers, electric cars, and hybrids to choose from.
There are a few other factors that are worth exploring when car shopping.
When choosing a car, you’ll need to decide if you want a new or used vehicle. Your budget will likely help determine if you go for pre-loved or spend a little more for that new-car smell. Or, you could lease a car if that’s an option that woks for you.
According to carchase.com.au, a car loses between 10-15% of its value the moment you drive it out of the dealership. If you paid $30,000 for your new car, that could be a $4,500 drive home. A new car purchase may not be a financial investment. But for some, their car is their baby, so they’re happy to spend their money on something new and shiny.
Buying a used car: 5 quick tips
Tips for buying a used car
- Determine your budget
- Shortlist your selection
- Inspect and test drive the car
- Make the deal
- Read the fine print
- Determine your budget
- Will you take out finance?
- The type of car you can afford
- Extra costs (like insurance)
- Shortlist your selection
- Fuel efficiency
- Kilometres travelled
- Vehicle size
Use our handy Used Car Shortlist Template
Inspect and test drive the car
- Ask the seller questions such as:
- Why is the owner selling?
- Has it had any accidents?
- Assess its condition
- Check the doors and boot for damage
- Are there any dints/scratches?
- Test drive
- Test its turning circle
- Listen for troubling noises
- Note how the breaks feel
- Remember to bring your Used Car Inspection Checklist
- Make the deal
- Check out our tips for negotiating buying a car
- Go through the fine print
- Complete the vehicle transfer paperwork
- Make the payment
- Transfer any tags or permits
Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this insurance. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.
Do you want in-built GPS technology and seat warmers, or do you just want something that will get you from point A to point B, without all the frills? Think about how you like to drive, and how much time you’ll spend driving. Is it worth investing a little more for the latest gadgets? Or maybe your Best of Abba CD and a slightly wobbly disc drive will serve you just fine.
Think about your needs, lifestyle, and main concerns. Explore reviews, different makes and models, and prices. Will you buy a vehicle new, or go down the used car route? You may find something out there that ticks all, and if not, most, of your boxes.
- 5 Tips for Buying a Car Online
- How to maintain your vehicle when you’re not using it
- Be ready for anything on your next road trip
Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI) trading as AAMI. Read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance.
This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.