Tips on choosing the best vehicle to buy


Buying a car is considered as the second most expensive purchase one will ever make in his or her life, so choosing the right one is very important. Here, we will give you some pointers on what to consider to make sure that you pick the best one.

First and foremost, one should determine the budget one can truly afford and is willing to spend for a vehicle. Every car buyer must keep in mind that the cost of a new car is not limited to the initial payment (down payment) and monthly amortization (if the car is acquired through a loan). Buyers need to take into consideration the “cost of ownership.” This cost includes insurance premiums, fuel, parking, toll-fees, and maintenance.

A sample costing for a car that is used 20,000 kilometers annually should have a monthly budget of at least P1,250 for a full-coverage insurance; P5,000 for fuel; P4,300 for toll; P3,000 for parking; P1,666 for maintenance (tune-ups, oil and filter changes); P555 for tires; and P200 for battery.

Since the country’s economy is in an upswing, banks easily give out auto loans even to those who cannot afford to spend for the cost of ownership, which usually results in cars being repossessed by the banks.

The second thing to consider is what you’re going to use the vehicle for. If you work in the central business district with very limited parking and will use the vehicle just to commute to work and back from your home, you should consider getting a small car. For one, most small cars use less fuel. It can also weave through traffic easily and readily fit into tight parking spaces. Alternatively, if you live outside the metropolis and usually load lots of groceries or supplies to and from work, and pass through areas that easily gets flooded during the rainy season, you should consider getting a vehicle with a higher ground clearance— perhaps, a pick-up truck or a sport utility vehicle (SUV).

Next, consider what you usually carry in the car. If you do school runs for your kids, you should plan on getting a car that would comfortably fit them during long travels, including luggage for those trips. If you’re into sales and regularly have clients onboard your car to bring them around, you should try get a bigger vehicle like a cross-over, if not an SUV.

If you have a dog, you’ll also have to think about the extra space he or she needs. Cross-overs and multi-purpose vehicles would usually fit the bill.

Engine size
This is kind of a touchy subject, as people always relate the size of a vehicle’s engine to its fuel efficiency. Is this correct? I don’t really agree. You see, fuel efficiency is more related to its power-weight ratio than its size. If a small engine pulls a light car full of passengers, the engine tends to work harder, thus consuming more fuel. A bigger displacement engine, meanwhile, pulling the same car with the same amount of passengers tends to work less and gets up to speed using less fuel.

So, if most of the time you only travel alone and with no cargo, getting a small car with a small displacement engine would be okay. But if you often load your car with lots of passengers and cargo, it would be best to get a unit with a more powerful engine.

Proof to the pudding is, during the recent fuel economy run held by the Department of Energy, a pick-up truck with a 3.0-liter engine outperformed a same-model truck with a smaller 2.5-liter powerplant. During a similar test, the 2.5-liter powered truck posted a fuel efficiency rating of 22 kilometers per liter while its 3.0-liter sibling recorded a 38 kpl run.

Buyers should also consider what kind of fuel type they want for their vehicles. The notion that diesel-powered vehicles cost more to maintain is just that. A notion. Modern-day diesel engines cost more than their petrol counterparts because they run more efficiently, and in fact, gives off less harmful emissions.

Besides being considerably cheaper than petrol, diesel-powered vehicles cost less to maintain as these have less consumables to replace regularly. Unlike petrol engine, diesel-powered cars don’t have spark plugs. A regular maintenance work only requires the replacement of the lubricant and filters.


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