Buying a car is a big decision that most people, who can afford one, must go through at one stage. The benefits of owning a car are obvious, but there are many other considerations to be aware of like whether to buy a new or used car, do you choose petrol or diesel etc.? Luckily there are cars for every taste and need, so once you “do your homework”, you will find the car that suits you. Buying any expensive item brings risks, but following this advice mentioned here should make the whole process a whole lot smoother and far less stressful.

Buying a new car has a few advantages, namely; you are able to choose the exact model and specification, you get a full warranty or maintenance plan and the fact that you know the exact service history of the car. The downside of new cars is their rapid initial depreciation once you drive it off the showroom and new cars are expensive due to the maintenance plans. Buying a used car can result in a bargain, but not knowing the service history is a major downfall. It is best to buy a used car that still under manufacturer warranty so that there are no ugly surprises that need expensive repairs or replacing. Demonstration cars or “Demos” can offer the best of both worlds but you can be limited with choice.

Nowadays when it comes to specifications for your new or used car, you are spoilt for choice. Even “cheaper” brands of manufacturers offer luxury, full-spec vehicles and you often have the chance to customise your vehicle so that it’s uniquely yours. There are certain features and developments that current buyers need to take note of like the recent improvements in fuel efficient hybrid and electric cars, improved early-warning braking and safety systems as well as new legislations imposed for carbon emission taxes on certain vehicles.

When it comes to choosing between diesel and petrol, buyers should be aware that the gap between these technologies in terms of economy, power and running costs has narrowed significantly in recent years. Yes, diesel cars are slightly more efficient yet cost more to maintain and petrol cars have less torque etc., but it’s really just a personal preference as both are good choices.

The best advice when buying a car, it seems, is to do your homework properly. Get many opinions before buying, not just from manufacturers who are biased towards their models, but from “realworld” users. Read forums for common issues on certain models and find out what the after-market service levels are for the particular manufacturer. Lastly, once you have purchased your car make sure it is insured before you drive it off the showroom. All of this will hopefully help you choose the best car for you and your family.