Choosing a car that is ideal for you

While many of us look forward to choosing a new car, others may find the selection process overwhelming given the huge amount of choice on the market today. There are several factors you need to take into consideration when finding your next lease vehicle, including budget, usage requirements, body style, speed and fuel type. This post summarises the important decisions you need to make before taking out a new lease contract and offers guidance to help you find your ideal car. 

Budget

Before you start looking at lease vehicles, you need to determine what your budget will be. While it’s easy to fall into the temptation of leasing the most expensive car you can afford solely based on the initial rental and monthly payments, you need to take insurance, servicing, maintenance and fuel costs into consideration. Most quoted leasing prices also exclude admin fees of around £300.

Despite fuel being one of the most obvious running costs for any car, many drivers forget to take it into consideration when working out their monthly budget. Fuel costs can be difficult to calculate. While manufacturers provide an official mpg (miles per gallon) figure to reflect how far a vehicle can travel with one gallon of fuel, it’s not necessarily an accurate reflection of what the car will use in the real world. We’ve produced a fuel cost calculator to estimate what your weekly, monthly and annual fuel costs could be for your chosen vehicle.

You’ll also need to pay for servicing and maintenance. Most cars need servicing annually, during which any scheduled maintenance will be taken care of to ensure the vehicle is in good condition. If your contract is four years or longer, then you’ll also have to pay for an MOT. Some companies offer maintenance packages as part of their lease contracts, which can be added onto your monthly payments.

Usage

The next thing you need to take into account before selecting a vehicle is what you intend to use it for. If you’re looking for a family car, you might want one with a wide range of safety features like airbags, all-wheel drive and parking sensors, as well as an advanced infotainment system to keep little ones entertained on long journeys.

If you live in the city centre and know you’ll have restricted access to parking, you may want to choose a smaller car, whereas dog owners might benefit from an estate car with a low lip and large boot opening. City cars need to be cost-efficient and able to navigate tight streets, while vehicles needed for long commutes may prioritise additional safety features and a comfortable interior.

If you need your car to have certain features like sat nav, LED headlights and driver assistance, try to choose a trim level that includes them all, as this tends to be better value overall than adding items individually.

Body style

Today, most manufacturers offer cars that are designed around lifestyles. Once you’ve determined what your monthly budget is and how you’ll use the car, it should be easy to work out which body style best meets your requirements. City cars are generally the smallest type of vehicle, as their short bumpers and lighter steering are designed to help drivers manoeuvre narrow streets and park in tight spaces with ease.

If you’re looking for a practical car that offers plenty of space, you may want to consider a hatchback. Hatchbacks utilise a two-box design body style, where the boot is accessible via a separate opening to the passenger area. Due to their compact dimensions and ease of access to the boot, some businesses that occasionally need to transport a reasonable quantity of material tend to favor hatchbacks.

Hatchbacks and saloon cars are well suited to families, with many smaller hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf offering good fuel economy and lower running costs, as well as a large boot. Saloon cars tend to be larger, with added comfort and practicality. Their body style consists of an engine bay, a cabin and a separate boot, offering more legroom and storage space than hatchbacks.

It’s important to take into consideration the weight and size difference between body styles, as this will affect your insurance, fuel efficiency and running costs.

Speed

Another important thing to think about when selecting a lease vehicle is how fast you need your car to be. As a general rule, the faster a car is, the less efficient it is. Factors that determine the top speed of a car include the weight, acceleration, mass of the wheels, engine power, gear ratio and aerodynamics. It’s important to remember that the speed you drive at will impact insurance and fuel costs.

If you’re looking for a way to lower your monthly expenditure, you may want to select a car that’s more fuel efficient. Diesel engines generally achieve greater fuel efficiency than petrol and offer more low-speed torque, resulting in lower running costs. But you’re not too limited – with the dynamic diesel engines, turbocharged petrols and hybrid technology available in today’s market, performance cars are cheaper to run than ever.

Fuel

After thinking about the kind of acceleration you’d like from a car, you need to consider what fuel type best meets your needs. From a financial perspective, new fuel-saving features mean that there’s less and less difference between petrol and diesel cars. While a diesel car is more cost-effective in terms of running costs, city dwellers who travel over short distances are better off opting for the cheaper petrol option.

Diesel-powered cars tend to be more expensive to fuel and service than petrol vehicles, but this ‘diesel premium’ reduces as cars get larger in size. While CO2 emissions are higher in petrol cars than diesel, they produce less other dangerous emissions. Then there’s hybrid cars, which generally consume less fuel and emit less CO2 than comparable petrol or diesel vehicles, using a conventional engine, an electric motor and a battery.

If you plan to use your car for shorter commutes, an electric car may be the best choice. Unlike hybrids, these cars get all of their power from electrical sources and don’t rely on a conventional engine. Electricity is a far cheaper fuel in comparison to petrol or diesel, and is better for the environment as it doesn’t produce tailpipe emissions. However, electric cars are relatively limited by range, speed and recharge time.

Most manufacturers offer a choice of petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric engines across each range. Ultimately, which fuel type and vehicle you choose will be determined by the type of travel you intend to do.

Summary

Once you’ve determined your budget, usage, body style, speed and type of fuel, it’s time to find your ideal car. As reputable and knowledgeable leasing experts, AMT Leasing can provide you with the perfect car to meet your needs.

Next steps

If you’re looking for a great deal on your new lease vehicle, call our experienced team today on 0113 387 4241 to discuss your requirements.

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