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Hypnic Jerk

How do you choose a car? UPDATED

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Hypnic Jerk
Posted (edited)

DH has always, since I've known him, had a company car.  He pays for it out of his salary  (not a novated lease) and there's been some choice limited by his position and the amount he pays towards it.  His car joins the company fleet during business hours when he is there.  I think he pays between $10-15k which includes all petrol, servicing, insurance, rego etc

His current contract finishes in a few months and the job he goes to may not have a vehicle with it.  So we will probably be in the position of needing to purchase our own family car.

Where to start?  DH is throwing all sorts of options at me from second hand to new, Subarus, Rav4, Kluger.

How do you go about deciding on a family car?  Where does one start?

 

UPDATE:  thanks for your comments, I've added a list of considerations on page 2.

 

Edited by Hypnic Jerk

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FiveAus

Start with budget, needs, ongoing costs.

Then narrow it down to what you want and what you like the look of. Read reviews on all the cars in your short list.

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Kiwi Bicycle

Brand should factor highly. Do you prefer a Japanese/ Korean for cheap parts and reliability ( and Subaru doesn't have a great track record for parts and servicing prices) or that's not a factor.  If buying new, do you want a 7 year warranty? And so on.

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FiveAus

Here is how I decided on my current car:

Budget, not huge but not tiny...I was reasonably flexible here.
Needs...no kids but multiple dogs that need to be shuttled to dog shows, also needs to carry dog show equipment (gazebo, grooming boxes, crates etc), so needed good storage. as well as space for dogs.
I generally do lots of kms, so preferred something that was lowish on fuel costs, maintenance etc.

I decided on a twin cab ute, it met all the requirements, then I narrowed it down to which one by reading reviews and taking test drives. I ended up with a Volkswagen Amarok, but not a new one because I couldn't fathom putting hairy dogs into a brand new vehicle, not to mention all the heavy equipment I take with me, so I got one that was 2 years old.

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MadMarchMasterchef

Once you know your budget, how big is your family and what sort of driving do you do?  How much space do you need? 

what sort of fuel, how reliable and common is the car,  (eg easy to get parts)  how expensive is servicing. 

From there make a shortlist and go test driving. 

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hills mum bec

If it's for a company car then but new or ex-demo.  This will maximise your tax deduction for depreciation.  I would look for a brand that has at least 5 years warranty and then that will see you through until it needs upgrading.  Think about what style of car you want - SUV, wagon, sedan etc.  Decide what your deal breakers are in terms of features - eg. sat nav, alloy wheels, reverse camera.  You may be able to get the features you want in an entry model for one brand but might be top of the range for another.  Most important of all is to test drive your short list because what looks good on paper might not be so great when you are sitting in it or driving in it.  We were pretty set on buying an Outlander once and then when we actually looked at it IRL and test drove it I didn't want it at all.

 

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blimkybill

I always try to pay outright for a car rather than borrow money. It saves me so much in the long run. Car loans mean borrowing money on a depreciating asset and if you can avoid that, do. If that's not an option,  keep the budget as low as reasonable by buying a second hand car (maybe just a couple of years old and still under warranty can work well) and by not buying something larger or fancier  than you genuinely need.

From there I start with body type/size to suit my needs, brand (prefer Japanese or Korean for reliability and service costs) , fuel economy is important to me, and then once I've narrowed it down to half a dozen or so I read reviews and check out what's available locally. 

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3babygirls

So for us it was two main things: 

- What type of car: Van, SUV etc. we are going to have 3 kids aged 4 and under who will be in carseats for many years (I am a fan of kids being in carseats until they meet the five step test), so I wanted space for 3 carseats, plus we are an outdoor family, so bikes, surboards, camping etc. We settled on a van because of the room and ability to pick up friends etc. and our lifestyle

- budget: two vans were in our budget, one cheaper and one expensive. We went with the cheaper one because we really loved it and with three small kids we didn't want to spend $60K on a car that will probably get trashed

Other things came into it, but it was mainly down to what type of car and then the budget. I also wanted electric doors, so we went up a model higher to get those. There's not a huge amount of vans on the market, so we really only had like 5 to look at. If we upgrade our smaller car we'd probably have to consider more things. 

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hills mum bec
7 minutes ago, blimkybill said:

I always try to pay outright for a car rather than borrow money. It saves me so much in the long run. Car loans mean borrowing money on a depreciating asset and if you can avoid that, do.

If the car is for work purposes and you are receiving a car allowance it would be better to purchase on finance and put the money on your mortgage if you have one.  The interest paid is tax deductible whereas your mortgage interest isn't.

 

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lizzzard

I’m not really into cars so for me it was all about practicality:  towing capacity, fuel consumption, safety, size etc. We have a Land Rover Discovery.

DH on the other hand....🤦‍♀️ After nearly 15 yrs of marriage he finally bought a second car last week - something which is completely impractical in my mind. I see it as a toy, not a car 🙄 

 

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blue86

- What does it need to do? Tow, carry heaps of camping or kid gear, fit into tiny city carparks and never leave the post code, long drives, seat 7

- Budget? More than just the purchase, how much will it cost to run, what’s the service cost and timing like (a car that only needs servicing every 12 months vs 6 or 9), how many kms a year, will it be offset by a car allowance or work use tax deductions

- What would you like it to have? Electric everything, heated seats, sat nav

Those three things should help narrow down massively, then it’s a matter of brand, spec level, how high out of 5 is the ancap (and if it doesn’t have 5, remove it from the list), getting in and driving them

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can'tstayaway

I start with our needs

* number of seats - not just the number of family members but also if we regularly have extra guests.  At one stage, I needed a car that could fit multiple car seats and my parents when they visited.  Then I was regularly car pooling with a friend for school and sports runs.  Then another stage, I was mainly only driving 1 child at a time so a small car was fine.  Life and stages change.

* cargo capacity - our large dog often travels with us for regular drives so we need a car shape to fit him.  At one stage with big kids and big sports bags, I needed a big boot space to fit all of that.  For holidays, we needed a car big enough to fit all our luggage.  We have so much gear for driving holidays that we use a trailer now so cargo space is no longer important.

* distance to be travelled - I find for longer distances, a larger car is more comfortable.  This needs to be balanced with fuel efficiency.  For short city runs, I prefer a small car.

* garaging needs - what fits in your usual parking areas?  Do you have a garage/carport?  What about during the day at work?  Sports activities?  At one stage, I found a 4WD handy for parking at sports fields.  It was often muddy and slushy and a small car would have no hope.  During the day, in city car parks, some are so tiny that a big car would have no hope getting into.  

* aesthetics - everyone has their own personal preference.  I’m not fussed and generally will take whatever if it meets all my other needs.

* options - I’m soft and I like my luxuries.  I like options like keyless entry (quite common these days), heated and cooling seats etc.  The safety options like active cruise control etc are non negotiable for me.  

* safety rating - I won’t consider a family car that doesn’t have a 5 star Ancap rating at a minimum.  It’s partly why I tend to have late model cars and update them regularly.

* budget - new, demo or second hand?   As mentioned above, for some, it is more cost effective to lease/finance rather than buying outright.  

* duration - how long do you plan on keeping the car for?  Are you a drive it til it dies Family where the car will have to suit for all sorts of situations?  Or are you like me and change regularly (2-3yrs) so I’m trading it in while the car still has value?  I can make choices for the short term needs rather than predict what I’ll need in 10 years time.

* Maintenance/running costs - fuel efficiency, servicing and consumables.  Most new car deals you can get a few years servicing thrown in the deal.  Brake pads and tyres can be expensive for large cars. Petrol/diesel/hybrid are all choices available. Diesel is better if you do lots of long distances. Hybrid is better if you do lots of start stop city driving. Petrol is somewhere in between. 

Once I work out what my needs and preferences are, I narrow it down based on what I see others driving, websites and car reviews.  I ask around for real life reviews and then I go to dealerships to check them out in person.  I then narrow down to just a few and get serious about negotiating on price and add ins. 

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Ivy Ivy

Safety ratings, safety features.  Taking kids in a car is the most dangerous thing I do any given day.

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dadwasathome

The one i think looks prettiest.

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little lion

Some of us love cars and would be happy to provide suggestions if you detail your needs. 

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Gumbette

Brand - don't think I'll ever stray from Toyota again 

Cargo size - I buy potted orchids a lot which takes up space

Budget 

Safety and luxury features

I don't really worry about seating as I've only got 2 kids and most 4WD's which is what I inevitably go back to usually seats 7 anyway.  I'm due for a new car next year, and I think I'll try to buy a Hybrid, hopefully the Kluger.

 

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Squeekums The Elf

DP list

Had to be diesal and 4x4, price was sorta flexible

Safety features, reversing cameras, the lane change stuff, braking stuff, air bags, you name it he wanted it. He big on safety due to PTSD

Towing capacity, boat and caravan to consider, 2 tonne minimum

Cargo size for the dog and when we go away

Comfort, heated leather seats, dual control hear and air, usb ports back and front, bluetooth connectivity, leg room for dd, we noticed some 4x4 really didnt consider back passengers

Inclusions like on road costs, servicing, warranty, his includes 7 year warranty, fixed price services, on road was paid by dealer

In the end, he got the Mitsubishi pajero sport exceed, had suspension immediately upgraded and got side steps. Got the extras package for roof racks, floor mats in whole car, tinting of windows. What he payed for all that was the base model cost of some other brands 

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premmie

Before we had our third son we purchased a new car

Requirements were

- fitting three seats across the back 

- 7 Seater

- Under 45k and at least 5 years warranty and fixed price servicing

Short list was Toyota Kluger, Prado or Mazda CX9. We chose a demonstrator Kluger model, fantastic deal!. Still going strong 6 years later :).

I'd look at budget, car usage and mileage (diesel versus petrol), brand (for readily available parts/service). Then narrow down a short list and read reviews. Reviews have occasionally made me think of details I didn't consider. If purchasing second hand do your homework and purchase through a reputable dealer. My brother bought a lemon privately and the car caused him nothing but trouble from day 1!. He ended up buyng my old car off me and hasn't had a days issue with it in 6 years. 

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Silverstreak

For us over eight years ago it was:

Silverstreak is pregnant and blows the head gasket of the car she is driving whilst on the freeway one day. Oh crap.

Come back with quote, repairs are more than the car is now worth.

Go to carsales.com.au

Work out budget, including absolute top end. Ours was $5000 for a 2002 model.

Look at brands.

Look at kms.

Look at how expensive parts are to replace, particularly elderly European cars. (Been there, done that, got the T-shirt several times. I love old Volvos, but gee they play up in summer.)

Allow yourself to be partly swayed by a nice colour.

Visit car and car owner  in person and haggle a little due to sun damage on paint job. Agree on a price.

Take home car and pay for spray paint job, still coming in on budget. Car bonnet now nice and shiny. Pay for old car to be towed away.

Pose happily with new old car, erroneously convinced that as a new old car owner, I am a mature adult who is totes ready to become a parent! This theory will be somewhat challenged once cute baby emerges. 

Cute baby now eight and the car still going strong. In fact, it's been so reliable that I've told DH I want that exact brand when we buy another car (Nissan Maxima.)

The end.

 

 

 

 

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Gumbette
5 minutes ago, premmie said:

Short list was Toyota Kluger, Prado or Mazda CX9. We chose a demonstrator Kluger model, fantastic deal!. Still going strong 6 years later :).

DH just bought a new CX9, but our mechanic said because they had issues with the fuel pump with the first release of the current model, resale won't be great even though DH purchased the current generation and all the problems had been rectified. 

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Inkogneatoh

When we went car hunting, budget was the first thing to consider, then the needs. Oh god, the requirements on our Goldilocks car. It had to be not to high, not to low, and not to big, but big enough to fit a wheelchair in. Other than that as long as it wasn't black or maroon, it didn't matter. I visited a couple of car yards with a tape measure, before throwing a tantrum and dragging Mum along. We hit up something like 9 brands over 4 yards in two days.

 

I'll be honest, there were at least two brands of cars that fit our criteria that I dismissed early due to the salespeople we got. One seemed totally disinterested in dealing with "the woman" until he went to email me a brochure and found both my parents and my uncle had bought from the dealership in the last 8 years (attitude changed so quick it wouldn't surprise me if he got whiplash). The other kept emphasizing all the car seat anchor points despite me repeatedly saying that they didn't matter (no children at the time, and none on the horizon), while trying to block me from seeing it the wheelchair fit in the boot (the main reason we were car shopping).

 

Someone mentioned being swayed by colour above. In getting the final details down on the car I ended up with, I picked a gorgeous blue colour. Turned out they had two red ones out the back, and if I was willing to take one of those instead of waiting 2 weeks for the blue one to turn up, then they would add an extra $1000 to the trade in value giving us an extra discount. The desire for a blue car quickly flew out the window.

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QuisbySchmoo

I'm a bit different in that I want something that is a bit different; not vanilla - I can't just drive an appliance.   5-star safety is a given of course and after that, I settle on a budget and then start perusing.  One teen, who now has his own car so I don't have child-carrying cargo space concerns. I'm actually in the market now for a new car - my current one is great, I still love her but she's 6 years old now and I think I want an update. Tomorrow, I'm off to test-drive an Alfa Romeo Stelvio.  I think I'm going to love it.

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Jenflea

I'm partial to a Subaru(my family all have them as does some of DH's) so I find one that I like and I buy it lol. 

I can't be bothered test driving 10 different cars when I know I'll be happy with a Subaru(and I've never had issues with having to get parts).  I drive them for 10 years, then upgrade. 

I buy from the same dealer which is also where I get it serviced so they know me and I know they don't treat me like an idiot.  Plus the last car was in my name lol, so they had better NOT only talk to DH or I'll not give them my money. 

 

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Lifesgood

DH chooses based on budget and performance.

The budget considerations include both the purchase cost and ongoing costs. NRMA supplies this information on all new and second hand cars.

Performance considerations include safety rating, power-to-weight ratio and the required features we prefer in a car.

Resale value plays a part too but as we keep our cars for 10+ years it isn’t a major factor.

We first narrow down the selection by deciding what category of car we want - small, medium, large. 

Finally we test drive the short list and choose the one we enjoy driving the most.

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seayork2002

Our first (and only) car was a Ford fiesta if we ever buy another we may go all out on the excitement scale and get a Toyota corolla

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