Smiling man driving a car

What car should I buy?

Do you have a baby on the way or do you just want to upgrade your car? Here are some things to think about when choosing the right model for you.

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By Cazoo editorial team

Modern cars are safer and more efficient than ever and come with all kinds of useful features, so how do you choose the right one for you? Chances are, you could buy any car that Cazoo has available and be perfectly happy with it, but buying a car is a big commitment and it pays to make sure you get the one that suits your needs, lifestyle and tastes.

Think carefully about what you really need and want from a car. Think about where you’re going to drive it and how you’re going to use it. Whether you’re an ‘empty nester’ trading in your big estate car for something sportier or more cost-effective, or a family that needs extra space for Baby Number 3, it’s important to buy the ideal car rather than one that will simply do the job.

Where do you mostly drive?

Think about the kind of journeys you make. Most of us drive only a few miles a day on average, and if you rarely venture outside of town, a small city car such as the Hyundai i10 could be ideal. Their small size makes it really easy to park or to nip into gaps in traffic, and they cost very little to run.

If you mostly do longer, high-speed journeys, you’ll want something bigger, more comfortable and more powerful. A BMW 5 Series, for instance. Such cars feel calm and safe on motorways, making for more relaxing journeys. They’re usually great family cars, too.
If you live in the countryside, you may want a taller car that gives you a better view down winding country roads. Four-wheel drive could be a bonus, too, because it can make driving safer on muddy or icy roads. In which case an SUV like the Land Rover Discovery Sport could be just what you need.

Hyundai i10

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Do you carry a lot of people?

Most cars have five seats – two in the front and three in back. Bigger family cars have plenty of room for two adults to sit comfortably in the back, but three can feel a bit snug. If you wanted to bring your kids’ friends or the grandparents along on outings you’d need a second car. Or you could get one of the many MPVs and SUVs that have seven seats. That’s three rows of seats, usually in a 2-3-2 layout, with a third row that folds out of the boot floor.

Seven-seater cars give you space and flexibility that normal family cars don’t. Most have third-row seats that can be folded flat or removed altogether to give you a huge load space and still have space for five people, so you can configure the layout to suit your needs.

While the third-row seats in more compact seven-seaters such as the Toyota Verso are best suited to shorter trips, those in larger examples such as the Ford Galaxy and Land Rover Discovery are roomy enough for adults, even on longer journeys.

Ford Galaxy

Do you carry a lot of stuff?

If you need to carry a lot of gear on your journeys but don’t fancy a van or a pick-up truck, there are plenty of cars to choose from. Estate cars, for instance, come in a range of sizes but always have a much bigger boot than the hatchback or saloon version of the same car. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate and Skoda Superb Estate give you twice as much boot space as some mid-size hatchbacks, for example, and van-like capacity when the back seats are folded away.

Thanks to their tall, square-sided bodies, SUVs generally have large boots. Compact models such as the Nissan Juke might not be roomy enough for some families but mid-size models like the Nissan Qashqai are very practical and large SUVs such as the BMW X5 have huge boots. If you want maximum boot space you should consider MPVs such as the Citroen Berlingo, too. Not only are they great for carrying lots of people, but their tall, wide bodies can also be packed with an enormous amount of holiday luggage or sports gear.

Skoda Superb Estate

Do you want something environmentally friendly?

Most cars use petrol or diesel fuel. But there are other options if you want something less polluting and, perhaps, more cost-effective to run. An electric car (also known as an EV) such as the Renault Zoe is the obvious choice. But you have to carefully consider where you’d mostly drive your car and where you’d charge it, especially if you do a lot of long journeys. And because electric cars are still in the minority you might not find one that’s a perfect fit for your lifestyle or budget.

Hybrid cars offer a useful point between petrol and diesel cars and electric cars. Plug-in hybrid cars (also known as PHEVs) such as the Mitsubishi Outlander go much farther than ‘self-charging’ hybrids on electric power and could allow you to do most of your journeys without the engine. But it’s still there if the battery goes flat, so you don’t have to deal with range anxiety. You’ll have to charge a PHEV regularly to get the best from it, though.

Renault Zoe

Are you on a tight budget?

A car is the second most expensive thing most people will buy, after their house or flat. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money to get a good car. The most affordable cars tend to be on the small side, like the Suzuki Ignis. But there are family cars like the Fiat Tipo and SUVs like the Dacia Duster, as well.

Dacia Duster

Other things to think about

There are all sorts of other factors that might influence your car-buying decision. You might have a short driveway, for instance, so you need to make sure you get a car that fits. You might have a large caravan and need a car that’s strong enough to tow it. You might want a sporty little number for the weekend. Or maybe you’ll take anything so long as it has a sunroof. And don’t forget space for the dog. Considering all these things will help you narrow down your options and ensure that you find a car you love.

Land Rover Discovery

An easier way to find or sell a car

You’ll find lots of used cars for sale at Cazoo, all available to buy through our trusted dealers.

Cazoo makes selling a car just as easy – just enter a few details for an instant online valuation. If you accept the offer our partners will get in touch to arrange payment and collection of your car at a time that suits you.

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