Choosing a new make or model of car has always been a challenge, but in recent years the goal posts have been moving with new government legislation and an emerging range of power units affecting the decision.
There are now not only petrol and diesel versions of many models but also hybrid and even full electric models on the market, so which is the best option for you? The decision is made even more complicated by the UK government’s proposals to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol vehicles by 2040.
New rules on road tax tariffs relating to CO2 emissions may influence your choice, with diesels particularly impacted by the new rules. Even hybrids are subject to the new changes and are no longer exempt from the tax, with more expensive models particularly affected during the first five years after purchase. The RAC provides a simple guide to the new tax bands.
Insurance will also be a consideration. Insurers have little data to base their quotes for hybrid and fully electric cars and are also concerned about the cost of repairs. These vehicles are also expensive to replace if written off, and so premiums can be higher than anticipated.
The motor trade insurance market is also affected, but information can be found online at sites such as quotemetoday.co.uk/motor-trade-insurance.
Driving habits will influence your decision. It is a general rule of thumb that if your car usage is made up of a mixture of long and short journeys with an annual mileage of under 15,000 miles, you will get the best outcomes with a petrol engine.
the best choice if you do a lot of motorway driving and clock up the miles.
If you are a city dweller and mainly use your car in that environment, a hybrid may be the best option. Note that on longer journeys the petrol engine will do most of the work in a hybrid, meaning it will be no more efficient than a standard petrol unit. The new range of plug-in hybrids can go further on electrical power but are much more expensive to buy. The range on a full charge can be up to 150 miles, but this compares with 500 miles on an average full tank of traditional fuel. These circumstances will affect your decision.