Finding the perfect fit: A guide to choosing your ideal vehicle

Cars are an essential provision for millions of households up and down the UK, with over three quarters of households in ownership of at least one car or van. There comes a time in every motorist’s life though, where their vehicle needs replacing. This, then, raises the question: how exactly should you go about picking out the right car for your needs?

Photo: Brad Starkey

Assessing your needs

Naturally, your first thoughts relating to your next vehicle choice should relate to your specific, individual and household needs. It needn’t be said that a supercar might not be the best fit for a household with several children and a school run to contend with.

This part of the decision-making process can be made simple, by starting a priority list that acknowledges your ‘musts’ first: how many people must your car fit on average, how far will you be travelling each week at minimum, and what key journeys will you be taking? If the car is purely for a work commute, this changes your parameters in comparison to an urban A-to-B-er.

Setting a budget

We’ve joked about the potential inappropriateness of a supercar to your realistic travel needs, but of course it is highly unlikely that you would be able to gainfully afford one in the first place. This, though, brings the next important variable into sharp focus: budget. You need to set a realistic budget, that accounts for your income and what your household can afford each month.

This budget also needs to account for your ongoing costs, though, as well as upfront ones. Where the finances might not work, the used market is a powerful and affordable option; there are approved used Peugeot cars for sale that fall well under costs for similarly-reliable new vehicles, and which attract lower insurance premiums too on account of their lower market value.

Exploring vehicle types

Used market or no, your next consideration will relate to the types of car available on the market. There are many different sizes, shapes, and specs of vehicle available, from the smallest hatchbacks to the largest SUVs; each have their own merits, which naturally play into your needs as a motorist. SUVs are less practical for urban driving on account of their size, but the boot space and comfortable interior could make longer inter-city drives more comfortable. MPVs have enough seating for up to 9, making school runs and family holidays much easier.

Makes and models

With some general decisions made, you can now get more specific. Factors like fuel efficiency and safety ratings differ from model to model, and indeed from brand to brand. Here, good old-fashioned research is your best friend. This might also be an opportunity to consider models from newer vehicle manufacturers, particularly in the new, exciting, eco-friendly and cost-effective field of electric vehicles.