Savvy Britain


Car Buyers Guide

Looking to purchase a new Vehicle?

Looking for assistance? Our fantastic Car Buyer’s Guide may be the ideal companion for you. Buying a new car can be a tough task at the best of times, there’s many different features and information to consider. Are you going to buy a brand new car or a used car? Are you looking for a particular model? Whatever your needs is, this Car Buying Guide should be able to answer all your questions!

There’s around 25 million cars on British roads, including brands such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Ford, Nissan, Volvo, Mini, Vauxhall and lots more! Choosing the perfect car is one of the toughest purchasing decisions you will make. After all, the average person will use their car on a daily basis, so they need to be happy with the vehicle they’re driving.

Understanding Car Running Costs

We all want to keep the running costs of our vehicles down. With austerity taking a pinch on people’s wallets, keeping a car on the road can seem like a real uphill struggle. From road car, fuel prices, general maintenance and car depreciation, you can sometimes feel that the world is against you.

The average driver will may find this helpful guide to keeping car running costs down a great companion.

Basic Running Costs Firstly let’s explore the average running costs; arguably the biggest day-to-day cost a UK driver will have to budget for is fuel consumption.

Obviously the less you drive, the less fuel you use, however that isn’t so great if you travel long distances or use the car for a daily commute.

Here are four elements, which should be taken into consideration, when understanding what affects how much you will spend per mile:
  • Fuel Type – Diesel tends to be more expensive than petrol on average, but you should get ‘more miles to the gallon’.
  • Fuel Price – One of the pains of most drivers, fuel prices increase and decrease on a daily basis, sometimes it can be hard to know whether a petrol or diesel car is more efficient. Generally, a diesel car will be more economical for longer runs. For short ‘city’ driving then petrol tends to be cheaper.
  • Car’s Efficiency – The efficiency of a car varies from each individual manufacturer, you will find that most modern cars will adhere to modern laws regarding efficiency and emissions. For more information please check your car manual.
  • How You Drive – Typically, the faster you drive the more fuel you tend to use. Some people claim that driving at a ‘cruising’ speed can be fuel-efficient, however this will depend on the fuel used, the brand of car and road conditions.

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Car Tax in the UK

If you’re driving a car, which was registered, between March 2001 and April 2017, the road tax is calculated on the amount of C02 that is produced. This calculation is based on the official figures, which is shown on the car’s V5C registration document.

Some people opt for diesel cars because they tend to produce less C02 then equivalent petrol vehicles. This means people think they’re more efficient, however, modern diesels tend to be only suitable for a specific type of driver.

For example, if you’re driving around town, then a diesel car generally won’t be more efficient than petrol, this is because diesels are not suited to ‘low mileage’ driving. Diesels are usually appropriate for long distance driving.

Since April 2017, car tax is calculated slightly differently. The first year of a new car is based on the C02, however the standard rate is the same for all vehicles except those with zero emissions.

You will find that an additional charge is payable for five years after the first year on cars with a list price of more than £40,000.

Car Depreciation

You bought a brand new car two years ago and suddenly you start realising that it’s losing value. This is natural car depreciation over a period of time. It can be easy to ‘overlook’ this fact, however it can certainly be a major pain for most UK drivers. There are a few ways, which you can attempt to counter the depreciation, for example:

  • Fix minor repairs when they first occur
  • Keep the car’s mileage as low as possible
  • Have the vehicle serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations
  • Keep the car clean and tidy, make sure it’s in a good overall condition
  • Keep a comprehensive service record

Original Publication: 31 May 2017
Last Updated: 23 June 2017

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