Considerations when Buying a Car in 2016
By: Leila Glen
18 February 2016
A car is the second biggest purchase you’ll ever make in your lifetime, so it figures that as the years go by more and more considerations and decisions go into buying one – and 2016 is no exception!
In this age of environmental awareness, it’s important not only to consider style, colour and – of course – a working engine, but also the environmental impact your car will have on the road. Furthermore, as always, budget will be a huge consideration for most people– meaning there are insurance and maintenance costs to factor in.
Essentially, there’s a lot to ponder, which is why we’ve created a simple guide to buying a car in 2016 – you’re welcome!
It is a criminal offence to drive a car on the road without insurance. A lot of people would call this the single most important consideration when buying a new car; this is due to the fact that insurance costs can more often than not be sky high!
Remember, you can pay your insurance yearly or monthly, and there’s a wide range of factors that affect how much you’ll be paying:
- Size of engine
- Age of Driver
- Number of years no claims discount
- Whether the car will be Garaged, Parked on the Street or on the Drive
- Geographic location - Certain postal code area have high premiums based on crime statistics and accident hotspots
- Age of Car
- Value of Car
Finally, when looking for insurance it’s vital that you shop around – we’ve all got those Compare The Market/Meerkat adverts engrained on our brains – so we may as well make use of them! We say of the three types of insurance – third party, third party fire and theft and comprehensive – don’t just go for the cheapest option; it pays in the long run to fully protect yourself and any other driver you may come across on the road!
Like most complex machines, cars need a lot of maintenance and are vulnerable to breaking down or encountering a problem at any time. Just like a human being needs to have regular health checks, a car needs to be checked out for potential problems are regular intervals.
Tyres, brake pads, indicators; you name it – it will need to be changed/fixed at some point – and it’s better to do this sooner rather than later.
If you keep on top of your car repairs and look after your car, then it will look after you.
If you know you’re going to be spending a lot of time in your car and partaking in a lot of driving, then it’s worth investing in becoming a member of the RAC, AA or any breakdown organisation of your choice – this costs monthly however is sure to save you money in the long run.
We recommend you put aside some savings in case of needing a car repair – you never know when you might need to make a big pay out!
For any car over the age of 3, an MOT test will need to be undergone once each year in order for your car to be legally drivable. The MOT tests cost an average of £40.00 and involve doing a number of tests and checks on your car in order to proclaim in ‘road-worthy’ for another year. If your car has some problems, then you may be required to pay out for repairs in order for your car to pass its MOT – it’s a good idea to have some savings put away for this.
Depending on how much you drive, obviously the amount you spend on petrol/diesel will differ; some may have to fill up weekly whereas for others a full tank may last them a month or more!
If you are going to be doing high mileage every week then it would be a good idea to go for a diesel or dual fuel (electric) car as a full tank of fuel will last you longer.
On average, a full tank will cost between £40 and £50 (obviously depending on the current market). Also, be aware that different petrol stations have different fuel costs per litre, so try and fill up at a place that you know is cheap! More often than not, service stations on the motorway are more expensive because they know there won’t be another one for miles so you have no choice but to fill up – avoid this conundrum by filling up locally before setting off on a long journey. Another tip is to always plan ahead and ensure you have enough fuel to get you to your destination – this way you won’t have to stop and panic fill your tank somewhere super expensive.
Lastly, you can try car sharing to reduce fuel costs by a massive 50%; sharing the commute with a co-worker means you’ll save on petrol costs and run up less millage on your car – win win!
This is where environmental considerations and cost really go hand in hand; on 1st March 2001 the UK government reformed the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) as a way of encouraging people to purchase smaller, more economical cars rather than large, petrol drinking, co2 emitting monsters!
Co2 emission tests were carried out on every car manufactured after 1st March 2001 and cars were put into six different tax brackets accordingly – (see figure below).
There used to be a requirment to display a tax disc clearly on your car's windscreen, but this was scrapped in October 2014 and replaced with a new electronic system.