What to look for in a Small Car
1. Is it reliable? – The last thing you want is to be constantly spending your hard earned money getting your car fixed, so do your homework, read as many small car reviews as possible to ensure you choose one that won’t let you down. Most new cars especially German and Japanese models are reasonably reliable. If you are buying a second hand car get it checked out by an unbiased professional.
2. What is the safety rating? – Everyone wants to know that they and their loved ones are safe when they are in the car. Again most new model cars are built to the highest safety levels, with air bags and side impact bars as standard. Many small cars are just as safe as larger models nowadays. However if you are buying an older second hand model they may not be built to the same safety standards.
3. How much does it cost to get it serviced? – Many new cars need to be serviced by the company it was purchased from as part of the warranty. Many of car companies offer capped price servicing which means you know the maximum amount you will have to pay to get your vehicle serviced. This is very important if you’re purchasing a brand new car under warranty. It is great to know that there is a maximum amount you’ll have to pay for getting your car serviced in the subsequent 3 to 5 years. However some car companies capped price servicing car be expensive, and some will tell you it needs to be done every 6 months while others will say every 12 months, so it is worth considering the servicing cost when buying a car.
4. How long is the warranty period? – Some manufacturers will offer three, five, or ten year warranties at no extra cost. They would not do that unless they were ultra-sure of the reliability of their product. If you want peace of mind that you will not have repair bills for a long time then choose one with a long warranty period.
5. How comfortable is it to drive? Cars vary a lot in terms of comfort and driving dynamics so really look around and drive a number of different cars and brands before making a choice.
What should I pay for a small car?
Do your homework on any car you are interested in because regardless of whether you decide to deal with a private seller or a dealer they are going to try to get the best possible price they can for their car, and course you want the best deal so don’t be scared to negotiate.
A lot of dealers will try to upsell you on additional items that are not needed such as rust proofing (if a car these days is in danger of rusting don’t buy it), lengthy warranties (ask the dealer why they feel the additional warranty is needed, is the car unreliable?). If you’ve got young children then fabric protection might be good, but it is cheaper to get it done yourself rather than get the dealer to do it.
Buying a car is a big investment so take your time to shop around and don’t be afraid to negotiate or walk away from something that does not feel 100% right for you.