Buying a car comes with mixed emotions. This is particularly true for first-time buyers who have been saving for years to buy their dream vehicle.

While you might have an idea of the car you want to buy, it is always recommended to do some research before you can make any purchasing decision.

Why It is Important

Vehicle purchase is probably the second biggest financial investment most Australians make after real estate. It can take a couple of years before you clear off the payments and you want to make sure you’re making the right decision before you commit financially. A travelling vehicle does more than the daily commute. It should be able to handle the off-road weekend excursion in the countryside while still being comfortable enough to be a daily driver. There is also the question of whether you’re going to buy a brand vehicle or a used one. Most second-hand vehicles tend to struggle when driven for long distances.

Needs

This is going to be the most important consideration regardless of the purpose of the vehicle. Do you have a family? What level of comfort do you want in a vehicle? You can write down a list of what you want in a car so that you look at the options available in the market that are within your price range. You should also be looking at things such as storage capacity, and the interior space. Safety is also a key consideration when shopping for a car.

Off-Road Capability

Any vehicle that is going to be on the road a lot should have off-road capabilities. You never know where the next adventure might take you but you want to be prepared just in case you come across rough terrain. There are several SUVs you could choose from depending on your budget. If you are intimidated by the size of full SUVs, you can decide to go for crossovers that could also serve the same function. Even though they might use more gas compared to other vehicles, you’ll be glad you’re driving one when you go off-road.

Safety

This is another consideration that you should be in your list of priorities. Driving on the highway is totally different from your daily commute. There are very few limitations when it comes to speed and anything could happen no matter how careful you’re driving. Modern vehicles are equipped with safety features that make driving more enjoyable.

Features like blind spot monitoring will ensure that you’re not missing anything on the road. Another important feature is lane keep assist which will warn you when you do not keep on your lane while driving. There are also features like forward Collision Warning that uses sensors or radars to scan for cars ahead or behind and warn the driver if there is an impending crush given the speed of the vehicle. These safety features will come in handy for anyone who will be using the vehicle to travel long distances.

Space

The seating capacity is also important especially if the vehicle is going to be used for family road trips. Ideally, you want a vehicle that can comfortably accommodate the whole family. While there are some sedans that are spacious, they may not be the right choice for a family road trip. In such an instance, a big SUV could be seen as the ideal choice.
There are some that can seat up to seven people and you still get ample boot space to store the bags and gear. A family van could also serve the purpose but not all of them are designed for driving a long distance and going off-road.

Petrol Consumption

You don’t want an inefficient hog for a vehicle when it comes to petrol consumption. Vehicles have come a long way when it comes to fuel economy. Modern cars can deliver exceptional ratings when it comes to fuel consumption. When choosing a travelling vehicle, you want to go for one that is kind on the petrol, especially on the highway. You can opt for a hybrid car if saving fuel is a big issue for you.There are some hybrids like the new Toyota Camry that get you up to 51 mpg in the city and 53 mpg on the highway which is extraordinary.

Tyre Performance

Since you will be travelling long distances, you want a vehicle with excellent tyre performance. A vehicle with good tyres is safer and you also get more for the fuel. It should be able to handle the control, cornering, and handling of the vehicle. Get your tyres checked by experts. Off-roading trips require the best tyre performance whatsoever for a comfortable journey.

Ease of Maintenance

There are vehicles that tend to be more expensive than others. The more the mileage, the higher the cost of maintenance. If it is a luxury brand, you should be prepared to pay more when it comes to maintenance. In such a situation, you may have to sacrifice the high cost of ownership in exchange for power and performance.

Such cars are faster and luxurious but the upfront and maintenance costs will keep people away. There are inexpensive cars which will get you where you want without having to spend a lot on fuel and you also don’t have to spend a fortune on maintenance.

Towing Capability

If you intend to be always on the road, you will need a car that can tow heavy payload. There are sedans that can tow but it is not recommended. A truck is best suited for such a task if you want a towing vehicle with enough power. There are trucks that good when it comes to off-road, has roomy interior and can tow a significant weight.

To Sum it Up

Choosing a travelling vehicle might be challenging but you want to make sure you’re getting it right from the beginning. The car should be spacious, easy to maintain, good fuel economy, and have off-road capabilities. You can choose between sedans, subcompact, and SUV vehicles. It all depends on your style and preferences.


  • Great tips on what to look out for! I agree, watch out for petrol consumption.

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  • I’m dreading when I have to get a new car, the decision will be so hard! I find making some simple decisions hard enough.

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  • A great article, thanks! I’d also add how easy it is to clean!!!

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  • Is there room for a week’s grocery shopping???. Not big enough, I would look no further.

    Towing capabilities – it depends how big and powerful a car is and how big a trailer or caravan you want to tow is, also the type of road it is.

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  • Buying a car manages to be both boring and stressful for me.

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  • Fuel consumption is a big decider for me.

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  • Hubby is currently looking at buying another car. Sadly, in our life, price is the mist important factor…….asking ourselves can we afford this one? Great tips on buying the vehicle just right for you though

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  • We are thinking of buying a new car,thanks for the article!

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  • Good tips. Purchasing a new car can be overwhelming. A big one for me is fuel consumption.

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  • I bought a new car 7 months ago. After a lifetime of driving old bombs its really nice to be in something very reliable and comfortable.
    My biggest tip is not to buy a dark colour because they get stinking hot inside in the summer.

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  • And the all important – Is there space for my handbag !

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  • Thanks for the tips on a new car purchase, fingers crossed I win the lotto.

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  • Petrol consumption for sure!

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  • Also if you have a young family, consider your car could restraints and the space they will take as your child(ren) grow

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  • a good article thanks

    Reply

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