When you read car reviews, “value for money” is mentioned frequently. Value may mean something different to each buyer, but generally this refers to finding the highest quality product for the lowest possible investment. As you shop around for a new or used car, you’ll want to look at various factors including resale value, maintenance costs, and fuel efficiency as you make your decision. The following are the main features that divide the great deals from the riskier investments.
It’s hard to ignore the up-front costs of purchasing a car when talking about value for money. Although there are other factors that go into this value, the sticker price takes a hefty bite out of any buyer’s budget.
Because most cars come in several trim levels to choose from, if you want to get a real indication of the car’s value you’ll need to look at what comes with the most basic model. A car might have what appears to be a low starting price when you first check the listings. However, if you have to pay extra for climate control, Bluetooth, and other additional features you might be looking at a much higher price in actuality.
One of the continual costs that a driver can expect is the cost of auto insurance. Although each insurance company has their own formula for determining a driver’s premium, they tend to weigh factors like location, driving history, and the make and model of car into their decision. Small, practical cars with high safety ratings fare best, sowould probably cost more to insure than a used Ford Focus from the same website.
Most of us are more interested than ever in finding efficient cars, not only to lower prices at the pump but also to protect the environment. Efficient, green-friendly cars can be a good investment, even if come with a higher sticker price. Smaller sized vehicles and hybrids offer the best mileage, such as the Toyota Prius or Ford Fiesta. Many models from the same brand are available with a range of engines to choose from. If you’re looking for a more efficient vehicle, you could choose a car with a diesel engine. These offer more economical running costs, and also tend to hold their value well over time.
They say that a new car starts dropping in value the minute you drive it off the lot, but this drop is more extensive in some cars than others. Choosing a consistently popular model from a reputable brand will help you retain more of this value over time. Generally, if a car retains over 50% of its initial value after you have owned it for three years, this would be considered a good investment. Small city cars with lower running costs tend to fare well, as do award-winning vehicles or popular family hatchbacks. High performance cars like the latestcan also be good investments, particularly if they are used on the racing circuit.
When searching for a car that offers the best value for money, you’ll want to look at all of these different factors and compare your options carefully. Beyond the up-front costs, you’ll need to look at the longer term picture to find the best fit for your needs.