Petrol Head

By Jo Phillips

You might not class yourself as a petrolhead but most of us enjoy the thrill of putting our foot down on the open road, the wind blowing in our hair and music blaring. If you are on the hunt for a new car, it’s wise to do some research and create a shortlist before you make any decisions. You want to find a vehicle that looks the part, ticks the safety and performance boxes and complements your lifestyle. Here are some steps to help you find the ideal car. 

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Research and reviews

Unless you’re a bona fide car buff and you read magazines or blogs regularly, you might not be up to speed with the latest releases or must-have features. There are hundreds of different makes and models available and it can be tough to narrow down the options. Before you start searching, it’s always useful to undertake research. Have a look at what is out there, read reviews and articles and take a trip to dealerships and showrooms. Start to note down leading contenders and cross vehicles that don’t cut the mustard off your list. 

Lifestyle, looks and functionality

There are several key factors to consider when swapping or upgrading your car. Every buyer has different priorities and what matters most to you may be totally different to another consumer. Personalise your search based on what you want. Are you looking for something that will turn heads? Are you interested in safety records? Are you keen to go green with a new, eco-friendly vehicle? Is space the most important feature? From family cars and supercars to compact vehicles and crossovers that tick multiple boxes, there is something for everybody. Outline your priorities and think about how you’re going to use the car before you make any decisions. 


Prices for new and used cars range from less than a hundred pounds to hundreds of thousands of pounds. The cost will depend on a broad spectrum of factors, including the make and model, the age, mileage and condition and the spec and extras you choose. When you visit a dealership that specialises in new or used car sales, go in with a budget in mind. Figure out how much you want to spend either as a cash sum to buy the car outright or in the form of monthly repayments. It’s essential to ensure that you can cover the repayments if you buy or hire a car through finance options. 

Test drives

Most cars look fabulous when they’re showcased in glossy brochures and digital marketing campaigns but there’s more to choosing a car than falling for aesthetics. Test drives are crucial because they allow you to get a feel for the car and they enable you to see how the engine runs and the car handles. You can also gauge comfort levels. You might find that you love a car based on first impressions but when you’re behind the wheel your enthusiasm fades because you’re not comfortable or you don’t like the position of the seats, for example. 

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Driving can make you feel great but it’s critical to choose the right car. Take your time to research, arrange test drives, compare prices and offers and consider what matters most to you. 

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