What’s the Best Car Type?

Online Loans

May 19, 2020

Can’t choose a car type? You’re not alone. With all the brands, models and trim levels available in Australia, we’re often too spoilt for choice.

Coupe / SUV / sedan / ute / compact / crossover/ hatchback… the list goes on.

OnlineLoans helps you knock out the wrong car types and be left with the right one:

How to find the right car type

Follow the steps in the order listed below. Each step of the car type selection process knocks out vehicles, leaving you with the right car type.

1. Budget

Numbers with dollar signs are most important. Buyers often find a maximum budget, but you should have a minimum amount too. This allows you to knock out car types that might be too old or lacking certain features.

What’s the maximum you want to spend?
Get a quote or check your budget to work out a price you don’t want to go over.

What’s the minimum you want to spend?
Knowing this is really helpful. Finding a car you like for an extra low price can sound good, but what’s the catch? Service and repair bills can easily negate low buy prices.

Tip: Servicing. Talk to the car dealer or have a look at receipts in the service logbook to get an idea of what you might be up for – and when it’s due next. Buying a car that has $1,000+ of servicing needed next week isn’t much fun.

Tip: Fuel. Manufacturers love bragging about great fuel economy. But does the car require premium petrol or can you run the car on a regular 91 unleaded? The difference can be more than 20 cents a litre.

By now, you should have:
  • Price window for your car type. For example, $35 – 45,000.

2. Lifestyle

It’s easy to be reminded that ‘the best car is the most expensive car’. Think about your primary use for the vehicle. Do you need a family car? Are cars for young professionals the right car type?

To get the ball rolling:

  • Parked in tight spaces often? A hatchback might suit.

  • Got kids to carry? An SUV could make things easier.

  • How often (if ever) do you go off-road? AWD or 4×4 might be an unneeded expense.

  • Need to carry large items? A ute can really help.

  • Keen on modifying cars? A performance car could work.

If your lifestyle ticks several car types, there are plenty of crossover vehicles.

By now, you should have
  • Price window for your car type. For example, $35 – 45,000.

  • Car type suited to your lifestyle. For example, SUV for commutes and some road trips.
3. Variant / Trim Level

Features and driving assist technology make a huge difference to car types. Top-of-the-range trim levels can cost much more than base models but that extra money packs them full of cool and unique features. The top-of-the-range Toyota Camry costs over 56% more than the base model for example.

Innovative features that might suit your car type:

360-Degree Camera: For tight parking. Displays video around the whole perimeter of the vehicle by stitching camera views together.

Active Cruise Control: For driving in traffic. The system maintains a constant safe distance between you and the car in front.

Lane Departure Warning: For highway driving. Warns the driver if the vehicle wanders into another lane.

Lane-Keep Assist: For highway driving. Automatically steers your vehicle back into the lane if you drift over too much.

Auto Emergency Braking: For collision avoidance. Detects imminent collisions and applies brakes.

Adaptive Headlights: For night driving. These headlights detect oncoming traffic and dim to avoid glare, they also pivot as your turn.

Night Vision: For dark streets and rural areas at night. Uses thermal imaging and infrared to show objects at night on infotainment screens.

Have a look at what kind of features might suit you and your family. It might take some research into what specific makes, models and trim levels offer.

By now, you should have
  • Price window for your car type. For example, $35 – 45,000.

  • Car type suited to your lifestyle. For example, SUV for commutes and some road trips.

  • Preferred features. For example, Apple CarPlay / Android Auto, hybrid, Active Cruise Control.

4. Test Drive

Cars look and feel different in real life than online. Try before you buy. Dealers and private sellers allow prospective buyers to have a quick test drive.

Check the following:

  • Does the driving position suit you?

  • Is the infotainment system fast and easy to navigate?

  • How’s the road noise at high speed?

  • Will passengers be comfortable and safe?

  • Will it look good in your driveway and suit where you live and work?

  • Do you actually like it?

If you’re buying a used car, get a PPSR. This can tell you whether the vehicle has finance owing or if it’s ever been reported as stolen or written off. If you’re not confident when inspecting vehicles, it’s worth paying a professional and receiving a report detailing any repairs you may be up for.

By now, you should have
  • Price window for your car type. For example, $35 – 45,000.

  • Car type suited to your lifestyle. For example, SUV for commutes and some road trips.

  • Preferred features. For example, Apple CarPlay / Android Auto, hybrid, Active Cruise Control.

  • Drivability: For example, small turning circle, minimal road noise, easy to reverse

Car Type Conclusion

If you’ve taken the above into consideration, you’ll be left with a few car types that tick the boxes best matched for you.

Our example knockouts filtered down to 3 top choices:
($35 – $45,000 hybrid SUV with Apple CarPlay / Android Auto, Active Cruise Control and great maneuverability & drivability)

1: 2020 Toyota RAV4 GX AWD Hybrid

2: 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Phev ES

3: 2020 Forester Hybrid 2.0e-L

Ready for the next step?

Get a quick quote from OnlineLoans today. Our 100% online car loan process will help you stay in control of your finances and getting the right car for your needs.

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