Buying a car isn’t an easy job. What parameters to consider; what is important and without which it can be done; how to distinguish desires from real needs – these questions are just the beginning of the search for a car to serve you in the years ahead. The good news is that with little research and planning, most of the doubts are resolved on their own, so the decision comes naturally.
What are your real needs and what are your desires?
Which, or better yet, what is the “right” car for you depends on who you are and what you expect from a car. Someone wants you to show how rich he is, that he has style, someone likes to “add gas”, but everything costs, and apart from the higher price of the vehicle itself, higher usage costs can be expected.
When choosing a car to meet your regular needs, the main criterion should be practicality, as well as answers to basic questions:
- Do you usually drive around the city, highway, or off the asphalt roads?
- How important is your daily journey to work and back, how important is fuel consumption to you?
- How many households or regular passengers do you carry?
- Do you need a four-wheel drive?
- What do you need from safety equipment: blind-spot tracking, lane exit warning, automatic braking, and adjusting speed in relation to the vehicle in front of you…?
- What do you want from optional equipment: navigation, reverse camera, leather seats, sound system
- Do you need cargo space and are you dragging a trailer?
- Do you use baby seats?
- How big is your parking lot?
- How much is the payment for late insurance?
Other models in the same class
You probably already have a certain model in mind – most people do. However, manufacturers are now making new models at unprecedented speed, so the right car for you can easily be one you’ve never even heard of. Even if you’re sure of your choice, compare it to the others in your class, at least by the traits that matter most to you.
If you’ve found a prospective offer (even better than a few prospective offers), agree on a test drive. It’s always better to try a few cars – because one of them is always better than the others.
It’s only when you’re behind the wheel that you start to seriously assess whether the car you want is really for you. Test the car the way you would drive it every day in traffic: go and stop multiple times, drive in reverse, and try all kinds of parking, especially backward. You listen to the car all the time: the sound of engines, gearboxes, fans, air conditioning, switches.
Usage costs, that is, possession
Some models may be cheaper when shopping, but more expensive when it comes to use and maintenance, and as a rule, the price at which you can sell them is lower. Before making a final decision, be sure to investigate the annual or long-term costs of possession.
One of the most commonly anticipated usage costs is late insurance, especially in used vehicles. Experience shows that unforeseen situations inevitably happen and that the damage, whether it occurs while driving or in a parking lot, is not just up to you. What’s more, it will most often be produced by someone else who doesn’t have to be caught red-handed. Also, damage can be caused in response to the sudden behavior of another traffic participant.
Casco insurance is a way to arrange the cost of car damage, often too high to pay at once, as a calculated monthly cost, part of regular use of the vehicle.
As with any other choice for “best”, it is necessary to define the general criteria on which we declare the winner. In this case, they would be, for example:
- Number of seats: Someone needs 5, someone needs 7
- Trunk size
- Performance (larger and heavier car requires a stronger engine so safe overtaking can be performed)
- Fuel consumption
- The size of the vehicle – theoretically, a larger car should bring more cabin and trunk space, but that is not necessarily the case. In addition, smaller vehicles are easier to “squeeze” into a smaller parking space
- Prejudices about length
When they hear about a caravan, SUV, or minivan, many people immediately think, “Why do I need such a car?”
However, caravans are often the same length or slightly longer than the sedan (limousine) version, and the average minivans and SUVs are infrequently shorter than the most popular limousines.
It is also worth bearing in mind which model and class it is in the first place – whether it is a Skoda Fabia caravan, a Renault Laguna caravan, or an Audi A6 caravan. If it’s a caravan version of a small/compact hatchback, it’ll be noticeably longer.
How much more functional is a caravan than a limo?
If we compare the classic limousine to a completely separate trunk area, the caravan is incomparably more functional in terms of transporting cabana cargo or long objects.
However, a particular problem with some caravans is that the manufacturer has decided to put the form before the function. He sacrificed the volume of the trunk, the size of the trunk opening, and the height of the cargo threshold due to the more attractive appearance of the rear, the type of reliance that occupies more space, steals the trunk space, etc.
So don’t take every caravan for granted, as you can easily be fooled into judging. Do not blindly or factory data on the volume of the trunks, since on paper they can look impressive, while in practice they are a little harder to fully utilize.
Almost every minivan in relation to its length and width offers an abundance of cabin and trunk space, and the secret is that it “goes” up. Many models can have seven seats, extensive interior decorating capabilities in terms of overlapping or fully removing certain seats, and many useful compartments, including those on the floor or under the front seats.
How do you estimate how big the trunk really is?
Manufacturers are constantly boasting about the volume of trunks in liters, which is generally the easiest way to compare, but there is only one “problem” – we do not pour water in the trunk, but we put objects of various cabarets (width, length, height), and we should not forget the weight.
Therefore, in case you need to insert something heavy, you will be very grateful if you have a car with a low cargo edge. In caravans, this is generally not a problem, but many limousine owners know the trouble well.
Also, the width of the trunk should be taken into account throughout the depth, since the width is not necessarily the same in all places; the width of the trunk shaft itself, the height of the cargo edge, the depth of the trunk to the rear seat rest, as well as the volume of the trunk when the rear seats are knocked down. Then – some cars have sliding rear seats, so the volume of the trunk can increase even with all five passengers in their seats.
All these dimensions and options don’t seem so important at first glance, but when you want to transport multiple different items or take a long journey with multiple passengers, and you want to include, for example, a new one. Bicycle, umbrella, folding chairs, fishing rods, baby strollers, etc., then you realize how good every inch comes.
Many drivers who need a compact family vehicle with plenty of cabin and trunk space are refusing to take into account passenger versions of the so-called “cabin crew”. freighters such as VW Caddy, Citroen Berlingo, Renault Kangoo, etc. However, the fact is that these cars give maximum space inland relative to the outer dimensions.
True, you often don’t sit very comfortably, but it’s a compromise that has to be accepted. One of their great advantages is sliding doors, which allow you to easily place a child in a child’s seat. Also, when the rear seats are knocked down, there remain a really impressive trunk space thanks to the height of the car itself. Some models may have an extra two seats in the trunk.
Therefore, those who are willing to give up luxury equipment and interiors, in this category of vehicle can find an ideal family car that will fulfill almost every task. Newer generations are lagging far behind in terms of various equipment and quality of cabin decoration, and on the outside, they no longer act as classic delivery vehicles.
In our opinion, the best choice for a larger family is a minivan or a passenger version of a freighter. Today you can buy versions with very powerful engines, rich equipment, and luxury interiors. If you have enough money, it’s not hard to make a very good choice.