It’s one of the biggest purchases – or sometimes leases – you’ll make, so choosing the right car is essential. Narrowing down the shortlist can be a lengthy activity, with plenty of factors to consider.

Do you want to get a vehicle that will minimise the chances of car accidents? Do you want to keep the cost down? Or is fuel efficiency and eco-friendliness your main concern?

You’ll need to establish your list of priorities before you can really start considering which new vehicles you’re interested in.

Age

Are you looking to buy a brand-new car or will you be satisfied with a used one? There are advantages to both so deciding on which is entirely dependent on your needs.

New cars mean you get a manufacturer’s warranty and any extra bonuses your dealer throws in, like free servicing. In addition, you won’t have to pay for the annual inspection required for a certain number of years when you buy a new car. In Spain, this means you won’t need an ITV for four years.

A used car will doubtless be cheaper than a new one, which is a significant advantage. If you’re worried about depreciation – and cars take this hit very hard – then a used car could be exactly what you need. The previous owner will have suffered the initial drop in value so it means you don’t have to.

Fuel

The types of journeys you’ll use your car for will help you decide which fuel you should be looking at for your new car, as will your environmental concerns. If the latter is a priority for you, an electric or hybrid vehicle is the best option, although these can cost more at the outset.

Diesel cars are typically more expensive than those that run on petrol. But this can be offset by being more economical to drive throughout the car’s lifetime. However, it only makes sense to choose a diesel if you’re driving long distances at speed regularly.

It’s also not advisable to go for a diesel if you’re only using it for short distances. The diesel particulate filter can get blocked if you’re not driving longer and faster too often, leaving you with a big bill. If you need a city car, it’s advisable to stick to petrol.

Safety

Something that should be top of the list of must-haves – but often isn’t – is a car’s safety rating. In 2018, 1,180 people lost their lives on Spanish roads. This highlights how important the issue of car safety is.

What you intend to use your car for will also have an impact on the type of car you choose. When your kids or grandkids will be taking up the back seat, safety should be one of your top priorities.

But whether your ideal vehicle scores highly on the Euro NCAP ratings, you can always improve its safety capabilities by adding certain features, whether they’re through your dealer’s optional extras or through your own aftermarket shopping. This could even keep the cost down when buying your car.

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