As a new year rolls in, many people’s resolutions include efforts to improve themselves – but the ‘new year, new me’ philosophy can also be extended to the vehicles we drive, as we shed ourselves of the old and stale in pursuit of something that will spark joy. So, how to start with choosing your next car in 2022?
Where to Start?
To avoid feeling overwhelmed by the breadth of vehicles available to you, break down your options into manageable subsections. By answering questions in these three areas in turn, you can narrow down your options before arriving at your core search requirements – from which you can begin your car hunt in earnest, and with confidence. Here, we’ll be breaking the options down via three lines of enquiry: budget, new vs. used, and your personal requirements with regard to car types and models. Here they are, broken down into further detail:
Budget requirements are individual when it comes to purchasing a vehicle, but there are many available methods of bringing costs down to suit your specific needs. Cash is king for many second-hand purchases, giving you the opportunity to own your car outright off the bat. However, cash purchases tend to only be feasible for cheaper and older cars, which could present issues down the line. If you are after a newer vehicle and do not have the upfront disposable funds to buy it outright, financing solutions are often possible.
Financing can be carried out in two key ways: hire purchasing and Personal Contact Purchase (or PCP). The former describes a standard financing process, whereby an initial deposit is put down and the car is paid off with regular monthly payments. The latter allows you to make lower payments by deferring an amount of the car’s value to a final, optional ‘balloon payment’. When you reach the balloon payment, you can either trade the car back in to start another agreement or pay it off in full and own it outright.
New or Used?
Choosing to buy new or used often factors heavily into the budgeting side of purchasing a car, but there are other considerations to make before you start your vehicle search. New cars represent a significant investment with poor returns, owing to inevitable depreciation – but the running costs are lower than those of used cars, owing to a three-year MOT exemption and increased fuel economy over older models. Used cars do not depreciate in value as readily as new cars, meaning you can recoup much of your money if you re-sell later in life – however, running costs are higher, and the chance of your used car suffering a fault is higher.
Choosing a Make and Model
The last aspect for you to interrogate before zoning in on the car you’d like to purchase is that of your usage requirements, and which models are more likely to meet them. How often will you be driving your car? What does an average journey entail for you, whether city driving or long stretches on the motorway? Will you be transporting others regularly? Smaller, petrol hatchbacks from Hyundai or Vauxhall are inexpensive options nippy city driving, while larger, more comfortable diesel saloons or SUVs from Volvo and BMW can handle motorways with ease and provide you with comfort all the while. Crossovers have been ballooning in popularity as well, providing drivers with hatchback performance and fuel economy with the road presence of an SUV.