Choosing a vehicle is a huge decision. Other than a house, a car is one of the biggest purchases that most people make. When you go into a showroom to pick a car, knowing exactly what you're looking for will make it much easier for the salesperson to help you to find the right car for you. Here are a few things to consider:
1. What sort of driving do you do most of the time?
For most people, this will depend predominantly on your daily commute. If you travel by motorway, you will need to look for something that is fuel efficient on long, quick journeys. If you just travel to the other side of town, you might need something much smaller that's designed for short journeys.
2. How many people do you have to carry?
This is where you have to predict the future a little bit. Do you travel alone or with a friend, colleague or partner most of the time? If this is the case, how long are you looking to keep your car? If you will have it for a few years, it's wise to anticipate whether your family might be set to grow. Or alternatively, if you find yourself ferrying around older teenagers who are about to go to university, do you still need a people carrier?
3. Do you need child seats?
This is an important question because by far the best child safety system is to go for a car with an isofix point for child seats. If you have young children, this should be one of the first things you look for.
4. Where do you live?
If you're in a city, you don't need a 4x4 vehicle. But if you live up a dirt track that ices over in the winter, having at least one vehicle that is four wheel drive could prevent you from being cut off from civilisation when it snows.
5. Do you use the vehicle for towing?
If you live in a city, a little runaround may be your natural choice. But if you have a caravan or trailer or you're likely to tow anything, a larger engine will be a necessity. You will need a car that is both big enough and powerful enough to cope with whatever you need to tow.