Motoring Advice

5 things to consider when choosing your next car

Sep 15, 2016

5 things to consider when choosing your next car

After a house, a car is one of the biggest and most exciting investments you will make. With so many models and styles to consider, it can take some time to narrow down the perfect one for you, but here are our five factors to consider before commencing the search for your next set of wheels.



The amount of money you can afford to spend on the purchase cost of your new car will ultimately dictate what year, make and model you can buy. Buying a car is a very exciting process, but before you commence the search, you should carefully consider your budget. You may have saved up enough money to make the purchase, or if not, you might want to consider a personal loan. Think about how much you need to borrow including any running costs, how many year you want to pay the loan off over and how much you can afford to pay back on a monthly basis. 


Your Lifestyle:

Hobbies: If you are sporty, you’ll need to consider boot space to hold bulky equipment such as golf clubs and musical instruments. Hobbies like surfing and cycling can take up even more space, so if you can find a car which already has a roof rack fitted, you’ll save additional costs in the long run. 
Adventures: If you regularly take the road to explore Ireland at the weekends, you will need a car that can cover long distances in comfort. Also consider a model with a dedicated satellite navigation system for those occasions when you find yourself off the beaten track.  
Values: Do you want a car that is kind to the environment? It is now easier than ever before to get an environmentally-friendly car with so many electric, hybrid and super-efficient diesel models to choose from. Accessories like stop/start systems help to reduce your impact on the environment. 


Running Costs: 

The three biggest costs associated with owning a car are fuel, road tax and insurance.

Fuel:  If you cover lots of mileage on a regular basis, it is worth considering an efficient diesel engine model. On the other hand, if you only commute around town a small petrol engine car will suffice. 
Tax: The lower the emissions output of the car you choose, the lower its annual motor tax rating. The lowest tax brand is just €120 per year while the highest is €2350 per year! Cars with small diesel or hybrids engines are among the most tax-friendly models on sale.
Insurance: In terms of an insurance quote; your age and the age of the car are indicators of the cost of insurance. In general, the newer the car, the cheaper the insurance. Also, the more driving experience you have, the cheaper your annual insurance premium will be.


Driving Environment

Will you be spending most of your time around town or on the open road? Is your commute long distance or just a quick spin around the corner? Do you have to park in tight spaces regularly? These are all factors which can dictate the style of car you choose. If you spend most of your time driving in busy cities like Dublin, Cork and Galway, a small city car with a small engine will suffice, and it’ll be easier to park too. If you spend an hour or more commuting each day, then comfort should be king, and a larger saloon or executive car will be a better choice.


Who’s Inside?

Will you be driving alone most of the time, or will you have passengers or even pets in tow?

Rear seat room: Leg and head room will result in happier passengers. If you will be using car seats for children, then opting for a car with ISOFIX mounts is a must. 
Pets: Dogs don’t like to sit still, so a car which has a rear lift gate that allows them to jump in easily is a great option. Also a containment barrier for the rear is a good option, particularly in estate style cars. 
How many people: Sports cars typically only have two seats, while traditional hatchbacks, saloons and SUVs have five seats. Certain MPVs and SUVs on sale have seven seats inside which means you can carry up to six passengers while driving. 

Your dream car could be just around the corner with KBC. KBC offers one of the best fixed rate personal loans on the market with a KBC Current Account. You can find out more here

Lending criteria, underwriting, terms and conditions apply. Loan Discount offer is available with respect to new Personal Loan applications only and is subject to availability. To avail of the optional discounted rate, you must repay the loan from your KBC current account by direct debit. The discounted rate is a discount on the standard personal loan rate which equates to a 1% discount on the Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”), which may vary. KBC Bank Ireland plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.