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Your guide to finding the right car for you

There are a great many cars on the market - from two seater hatchbacks and sports cars to 4x4 pick-ups and hybrids. Whilst a first look at the market can seem daunting, there are a few things you can do to narrow down the options that are available to you.

The first thing you need to do before assessing what cars are available on the market is to consider your budget. When doing so, be sure to look at insurance quotes and ensure that you are factoring this into the amount that you are looking to spend. Likewise, consider the fuel consumption you expect to receive from the type of vehicle you are looking for. For those on a smaller budget, the impact that insurance, road tax and fuel can have on the cost of a vehicle may be surprising so it is vital to conduct all of this research in advance.

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When you have ascertained the amount you are looking to spend on a car, it is time to start looking at manufacturers and models. While much of this is down to personal preference, it is worth doing your homework. Certain manufacturers will fare better than others over time and this may not be aptly reflected in the price.

You will want to spare some thought for the way that you intend to use the vehicle as well. If most of your driving time is spent doing short, urban trips, consider something small and environmentally-friendly. If you live with your family in the country and expect to meet some tough terrain with an army of kids in the back, look towards something like the Ford Territory. The size and abilities of your vehicle ought to reflect its use; otherwise you could end up spending money on unnecessary features.

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When you have determined the type of car you need, it is time to view them in the flesh. If you are looking at new cars, this is a far more straightforward process. You can test drive the car, decide whether the model is right for you and then specify the features which you feel would suit your needs.

For those looking at buying second-hand, it is not quite as simple as deciding on a model or manufacturer. As well as test driving vehicles, you will need to obtain the service history of the car. Any faults may not become apparent on your test drive so it is important to peruse the car’s documents thoroughly, checking for any discrepancies in its servicing and repairs.

When you have found the right car for you, be sure to compare prices. Whether you are buying from a dealer or from a private seller, there may be some leniency in the price. Needless to say, if you can pay a lower price than that asked, you should do all in your power to secure the deal.