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26 Jan 2018 14:13 Age: 1 year
Category: Car News, General News



It’s a well-known fact that for most of us, our family car is our second largest investment, eclipsed only by our home. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you choose the right car for your needs, to avoid costly mistakes! So, if you’re considering upgrading your family car, these 3 tips are well worth a read to help you make the right choices when deciding on your next set of wheels.


Wants Vs Need

Firstly, it’s really essential to make a list of things you want from your next car, and things you need. It’s also important to understand the difference between them, and allow yourself to compromise between them! Examples of “wants” could be a particular brand or trim level, upgraded alloy wheels or a specific colour (the fun stuff), whereas “needs” are the practicalities such as boot space, number of seats, fuel economy or reliability. If you’re trying to justify upgrading your car in your own mind, it will often be the needs that help you make the decision to go for it, and the wants will just make the prospect slightly more attractive!

Don’t forget that it shouldn’t just be about the needs, you’ll be spending a lot of time driving your car and looking at it out on the driveway. If you don’t consider the little perks of owning a particular car as well as the practical aspects, it will just disappoint you every time you drive it. Even those of you who only use the car for school runs need to enjoy the ownership experience.


Practicalities & Diesel vs Petrol

This is where you look at your needs in greater detail. Plan ahead to make sure the car will still be fit for your needs in a couple of years’ time. Are you planning on growing your family? Are you about to change jobs and give yourself a longer commute?

Perhaps consider the Diesel over the Petrol model for better fuel economy, though the simple rule of thumb is that if you’re not doing mega-miles, then you are foolish to buy a diesel. You really need to be doing at least 20,000 km a year to be able to make back, in savings on fuel, the price difference between a petrol and a diesel car. Smaller cars and modern petrol engines make a great combo though, and for instance Peugeot has just launched the new Peugeot 5008, a mid-size SUV, which has seven seats and uses a 1.2-litre 130hp petrol engine that provides adequate performance, decent fuel economy and low emissions. It’s one of a growing band of practical family cars, using downsized petrol engines, which can provide diesel-style economy and emissions without the expense or the low-mileage penalty.


If you have that heart versus head debate early on in your buying journey, you’ll end up with the right car that will keep doing the job for you as long as you need it to, without you having to waste money changing it in a few months when your needs change.

Research different cars online to see how they compare in terms of space, equipment and fuel economy. It’s also well worth looking at owners’ reviews online, to see what current owners really think of their cars.This will tell you what real owners think of factors such as fuel economy, reliability and practicality. If you’ve got a range of people complaining about a factor that is important to you, perhaps it’s wise to scratch that car off your list.


Also take the time to look at less obvious factors such as safety features and environmental considerations. Your family mean the world to you, so choosing the safest possible car will mean obvious benefit. Crash test results and details of safety features fitted to the car will give you some idea of how your car and its occupants would fare if the unthinkable happens. Owners are now increasingly thinking about environmental factors such as CO2 emissions, and what proportion of components can be recycled at the end of its life.

Recent bad press about Diesel emissions means that a lot of us are now turning back to petrol models, especially now technology has moved forward and some are nearly as economical as their Diesel counterparts. There are also a growing range of hybrid models available like the Kia Niro Plug Hybrid, meaning that it’s now easier than ever to own an environmentally friendly car.


Set yourself a rough budget, and see what you can find in your price bracket. This could be based on a cash sum, a desired monthly finance payment, or simply what you can justify to yourself. If you’re looking to pay cash, don’t discount the finance options available in dealerships because sometimes you can get a great value finance package, and leave the cash in your savings account for something else. If you’re looking at finance, there are a huge number of options available to suit all budgets including PCP Finance on nearly new models that provide low monthly repayments and remember that local Credit Union loan might be more expensive overall than you think. Be prepared to stretch a little for the right car if it’s going to suit your needs for longer.

At Gowan Motors, we are an approved dealer for Honda, Peugeot, Opel & KIA for over 40 years and we have over 300 quality used cars in stock at all times. We’re  are also specialists in supplying nearly new cars under three  years old, which are in as-new condition with many with less than 40,000 kms on the clock, but with up to 50% off its new list price. We‘re also the leading suppliers of nearly new 7 seater and automatic cars and have one of the largest stock available in Dublin at any time. Please drop into our showrooms in Navan Rd, Merrion or Dun Laoghaire today or visit us online at gowanmotors.ie to choose the car that suits you best.

Click here to see our complete stock of used cars

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