Picking the right (second hand) car for you

Making the best purchasing choice is almost never about making the first one. This is especially true of buying a car, as this will be – perhaps alongside paying for a home – one of the most expensive tasks we ever do in our lives.

Almost all of us need a car: We need to travel to work and home, to get around to acquire necessary items. We need them for errands, to lift kids and so on. But not all of us live the same kind of lives, so we need to get the car that’s right for us.

For example, if you are a student, you probably don’t need a large, four-door sedan. As Automart points out:

“Students want a light passenger vehicle. No student wants to drive a heavy car, as these will burn through fuel. Small cars are the most appealing. Students can barely afford most things at the best of times, never mind finding the money for fuel. Fuel efficient cars are definitely at the top of the list.”

The Telegraph reported on a study which tested and ranked the best, most reliable cars for students.

“The study examined city cars and superminis in Warranty Direct’s database of 50,000 policies and considered where they ranked in its Reliability Index, which gives scores for rate of failure, average mileage, age and cost of repair. The lower the score, the more reliable the car.”

In the top, they decided on the Honda Jazz, Citroën C1, and Ford Fiesta. The study uncovered that only 1% of Honda Jazz models registered with Warranty Direct broke down in an average year; aside from size and fuel consumption, heavy expenses go into fixing broken cars. Ones that are reliable are therefore essential, especially to budget-minded students.

At the other end of the spectrum, you could be a parent. This means student cars would be the worst option, even if they retain qualities you want in your vehicles. Childmag listed some of the best family cars, highlighting the united quality of space, safety, reliability – all despite the size of the vehicle in question.

For example, on the Peugot 5008, they write:

“[it is] a 7-seater, including foldable passenger seating, so there’s more than enough space for the whole family. The car’s on-board multimedia system will keep children entertained on long car trips and the boot has ample space (from 758–823 litres). Other notable features are its six airbags protecting all three rows, Intelligent Traction Control, Rear Parking Sensor, Hill Assist and Cruise Control. The 5008 comes in a choice of 1.6 petrol engine equipped with manual or automatic transmission options and a 2.0 diesel option, which also comes with an automatic transmission.”

Notice: space, reliability, fuel-consumption all top the list of interests for this and all other family vehicles.

Otherwise, perhaps, you’re a green or eco-minded person. Well, according to Green Reports, the car to get is the 2015 Volkswagen Golf

“It comes with expanded features and electronic safety systems, while retaining the Golf’s fun-to-drive quotient.

“It’s the wide selection of powertrains that gives the Golf the gold this year.

“From a pair of turbocharged gasoline engines to an all-new TDI turbodiesel (also found in the A3, but at a higher Audi sticker price), the combustion-engined Golfs get better fuel-efficiency ratings than the outgoing models.”

It might be wise to keep an eye out for Volkswagen cars for sale, given Green Reports continued decision to give the award.

Cars are made for us but we are all different – and it’s important to know what our lifestyles mean in terms of what cars we wish to purchase.