Tips For Buying A New Car In 2020

Buying a car today involves much more than in the past as it used to be a decision between a small or big car and petrol or diesel. Now we have electric cars, hybrids and cars powered by nothing more than hydrogen.

It’s evident that the lines have become increasingly blurred especially when buying a new car. Buyers can choose their preferred fuel type without compromising too much on the type of car or performance. So how do you choose the best car for you? 

Considerations When Buying A Car 

In some cases, a specific fuel type may suit you better depending on your driving habits, budget and how environmentally-conscious you are. We’ve compiled a short guide that should provide you with some valuable insights into buying a car.

Diesel, Petrol, Hybrid And Electric Vehicles

While petrol, diesel and electric cars run on those specific fuels, hybrid cars typically use fuel and an electric motor. When driving at low speeds, the engine turns off and an electric motor powers the car which then works alongside the engine to provide more power. A popular car that operates in this way is the Toyota Prius while the Suzuki Ignis SHVS recovers, stores and recycles brake energy in the battery.

From there, any excess power generated by the engine at stages in-between is used to recharge the batteries powering the electric motor. Some hybrids can be plugged in similarly to electric cars allowing you to travel longer distances on electric power alone. These are referred to as PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles) with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV being a prime example.

Cost Consideration When Buying A Car

Budget will always play a part when buying a car whether it’s brand new or second-hand. Unless you have deep pockets, the cost will undoubtedly top your priority list. Remember, prices can also vary considerably within a specific model range depending on which type of fuel it uses.

Generally, the price is higher for advanced cars or those with more economical powertrains. With this in mind, it’s safe to assume that a diesel vehicle will cost more than the petrol version with the advanced hybrid cars setting you back even more. However, the expenses don’t end there as you also need to consider fuel economy, vehicles services, tax and the environmental impact.

The All-Important Fuel Economy

Weighing up the vehicle’s list price from the dealer is likely everyone’s first consideration but don’t forget about the number of miles you will travel. Fuel consumption varies greatly between the different fuel types with diesel usually around 30% more economical than petrol.

While that’s pretty good, a hybrid vehicle can deliver even more with some claiming up to 200 mpg in an official testing scenario. Even though these tests provide some useful data, many vehicle owners will agree that they often get different results in real-life driving conditions.

Then comes the price of the fuel itself with petrol usually costing a little less than diesel. This means you should determine the likely usage first and maybe create an annual cost comparison. Look at the below graph from Motoring Research as they compare three Volkswagen Golf derivatives:

fuel economy VW Golf

* Based on average fuel prices as of March 2019

Is An Electric Car Cheaper To Run?

The average commute in the UK is approximately 9.32 miles in one direction so what is the cost of an average commute? (Source: Office for National Statistics)

Once again, looking at VW Golf derivatives, travelling 9.32 miles in the petrol model will cost you £1.30 while diesel is £1.21. The exact same journey in the VW e-Golf will only cost you 34p showing a clear saving. Remember, this is only driving one way which means you need to double up the amounts to include the return trip.

If you travel in both directions every day for work, that equals 18.64 miles every day for 232 days. This is 52 working weeks consisting of five days less the UK statutory entitlement of 28 annual holidays. Based on that assumption, travelling in the petrol Golf costs £605.43 a year, the diesel Golf £562.18 while the e-Golf is just over £160.

Driving Habits Can Make A Difference

There’s more to buying a car than choosing a powertrain and cost considerations as the type of miles you clock up also counts.

If you only drive short distances or around town, you are probably better off with an electric or hybrid vehicle. When driving long distances and along the motorway every week, you should consider diesel. It makes sense then that diesel cars are the primary choice for salespeople.

Even though the price per litre for diesel and the initial cost of the car may be higher than a petrol- version, when doing enough mileage, you should still see a better overall result. In these conditions, a diesel car will typically deliver better mileage and less CO2 than a hybrid.

Related: ‘Driving Habits That Can Damage Your Car

Road Tax And Emissions

Since 2001, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have dictated our Road tax and have become another consideration when buying a car. It affects all cars registered since then and you will pay more if your car pollutes the environment more. Electric and hybrid cars don’t pay road tax which makes them a good choice for budget and environmentally-conscious motorists.

There has been a slight change to the current Vehicle Excise Duty rules as they have reduced the impact of emissions on road tax. It now states that cars registered from April 2017 will only be taxed based on their CO2 emissions for their first 12 months. After the first year, vehicle owners will pay a flat rate of £140 per year while only zero-emission, electric-only cars will remain tax-free. Owners of alternative fuel vehicles, such as hybrids, will pay a slightly cheaper fee of £130.

Buying A Car And The Value Of A Full-Service History

Did you know that your car loses about a quarter of its value if it doesn’t have a full-service history?

The main purpose of a car service record is to show that it has been properly and regularly maintained. Besides playing a valuable part in keeping track of, and proving, services, it also adds incredible value when selling your car. If you want to get the most for your car when selling, make sure you service your car regularly at a reputable, registered garage.

Recommended: ‘Why A Car Service History Is So Valuable

Car Services At Elite Garages

Elite Garages technicians have received the necessary training to service electric vehicles to keep up with the growing demand. You can expect the same level of professional and friendly EV services as motorists with alternative fuel vehicles. If you need a vehicle service, you can book online now. We specialise in servicing vehicles as they should be, giving you peace of mind in terms of any warranty claims. Elite services ALL major makes and models including Audi, Jaguar, Mazda, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Bentley, Kia, Fiat, Volvo and Vauxhall among many others.


tips for buying a car in 2020


Final Thoughts

As eco-friendly as plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles are, the electricity they use to charge usually comes from polluting power stations. For now, it seems that diesel may still be the most eco-friendly choice for high-mileage motorists. However, this could change once hydrogen-powered cars become more popular and there are sufficient charging stations.

Besides standard and premium car services at great rates, Elite Garages also perform MOTs and comprehensive FREE vehicle safety checks. In addition, we can provide you with batteries, shocks, clutch repairs, brakes, exhausts and wheel alignment.

Our technicians across all 13 retail branches are expertly trained to offer you the best possible advice and service. To ensure you and your family enjoy a safe journey after buying a car, visit Elite Garages today for a FREE vehicle safety check. If you need anything else, please get in touch.