Having a larger vehicle can be useful, especially if you have a big family, or go on a lot of trips with plenty of gear! But when it comes to fuel economy, it’s generally better to opt for a smaller car. If you’re considering downsizing your vehicle, but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve outlined five easy steps to follow below!
Benefits of Downsizing Your Car
Perhaps the main reason people decide to get a smaller vehicle is to save money. Bigger cars typically don’t do as many miles to the gallon, and may also come with higher road taxes. Road tax will often be dependent on CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, so getting a smaller car may have the additional benefit of reducing your carbon footprint.
Another advantage of a less bulky car is that it can be easier to find parking! If you live in a busy city, where parking spaces are scarce, having a smaller car might mean that you’re able to fit your vehicle into tighter spaces.
A small car should additionally be easy to sell on, should you decide to purchase a new vehicle. As they’re generally easier to manoeuvre, smaller cars are often a popular choice for learners and new drivers.
So if you think these benefits outweigh the advantages of having a larger vehicle, how do you go about downsizing?
1. What Are You Using Your Car For?
The first thing to consider is your needs when it comes to driving. How do you use your car, and what are your priorities? Do you still need plenty of space in the boot, for instance? If so, would you be happy to prioritise this over legroom? You may not need as many seats as you used to either, especially if the kids have started leaving the nest.
Essentially, you need to think about the long term usage of the car, and how small you can afford to go. You don’t want to end up with a teeny tiny car that stops you from doing the things you normally do, nor do you want to get a vehicle that’s basically the same size as your old one, and costs just as much to run!
2. How Powerful Does Your Car Need to Be?
The second question to ask yourself is what sort of horsepower you need. This is particularly important for people looking to tow a caravan or trailer – not all cars are built to do this effectively! Having a petrol or diesel engine may also make a difference to how well you can tow another vehicle – diesel cars tend to be a better option
The weight of your car can additionally improve your fuel consumption, without you needing to compromise too much on space. For instance, the Range Rover Sport, which has a 784 litre capacity, weighs around 3,100kg, while a Volvo XC90, which has a similar capacity of 775 litres, only weighs about 2,000kg.
3. How Much Can You Afford?
Once you know what sort of vehicle you’re looking for, you need to work out how much you can afford to pay for a new car. Of course, if you buy it on finance, it’s easier to spread the cost, but it’s still important to consider the amount you’re comfortable spending. You should also work out how much you can afford to put down as a deposit, as well as any extra features you’re looking to add on, such as roof racks or heated seats, as these can add up quickly.
If you’re not sure how to go about working out the cost of vehicle finance, it can be a good idea to use a car finance calculator. This will give you a rough guide of how much you’d be paying each month towards a car loan.
4. What Cars are on Offer?
Now that you know what sort of vehicle you’re looking for, and have an idea of your total budget, you can start to see what’s on the market. There are plenty of comparison websites out there, which can size up different makes and models. Alternatively, you can just use a search engine and review sites!
If possible, you should also try and test drive the car you decide on, before purchasing it. It doesn’t have to be the exact vehicle you want, just the same make and model – that way you’ll get a feel for how the car drives.
5. How Can You Find a Suitable Lender?
Finally, you need to find a suitable car finance provider, who can lend you the money you need in order to buy your dream car. That’s where Vehicle Finance Today come in – we’ll do our best to match you with a lender that can help.
We’ll do all the hard work for you, making sure you meet all the basic eligibility requirements with the lender, and finding you a competitive rate. Get in touch with us today to start downsizing your vehicle!