Buying a new or pre-loved car can be an exhilarating experience. However if you don’t know what you want or aren’t sure what to look for, it can be a daunting and frustrating experience. In this article we’ll help you narrow down your search and pinpoint exactly what you need (and want) in your next car.

Your daily life

First thing is first, let’s look at your daily life to help decide what sort of car would best suit your needs. While price and features are important, you need to first work out what type of car works best for you in your daily life.

Do you regularly take your dog down to the dog park, do you enjoy surfing, do you do the school run each day? These are all things you need to consider about your lifestyle to help determine which sort of car will suit you. If you have a fully grown Saint Bernard dog, you’re probably not going to opt for a hatch back. Just like if you need to fit in the surfboard on the weekend, you’re probably not going to settle on a hatch. Make a list of your daily activities to help you determine which sort of car could best suit your needs.

New vs. used

The choice to purchase a new versus a used car is a very personal thing. There are many advantages and disadvantages to both. Do you use your car every day, is reliability a huge deal for you? New cars come with manufacturer warranties and will generally be more reliable. That being said, they generally cost more, and you can also find some great, reliable pre-owned vehicles if you know what to look for. You will need to weigh up these options to help you choose whether a new or used car is the way to go for you.

What is my budget?

Before you decide on a specific make and model, it is important to know (and stick to) your budget. If you have saved up and are looking to pay cash for your next vehicle, this question is a very easy one to answer, since you know exactly how much you have to spend.

Keep in mind when paying cash for a vehicle that there may be other associated vehicle costs such as stamp duty, on-road costs, and insurance that you may need to keep money aside for. Make sure you factor in all the costs prior to setting your budget.

If you are looking to get vehicle finance, you need to work out how much you can comfortably afford to spend either weekly or monthly on your vehicle repayments. You can use our handy repayment calculator to work out how much your repayments will be on a specific amount or alternatively get an instant personalised online finance quote right now to see how much your repayments will be.

Alternatively, you can speak to on of our friendly staff on 1800 538 287 for an obligation-free chat about your car finance options.

Which make and model?

Once you know what style of car you think suits your needs and have narrowed your search down to either a new or used vehicle, you can start looking for a specific make and model.

One of the best ways to do your initial research on different car makes and models is to use a website like Using the carsales advanced search, you can sort by vehicle style and new/used vehicles. They even have a lifestyle feature which can show you cars that fit your type of lifestyle. Doing this will allow you to view all makes and models that meet your criteria so you can effectively compare them all.

It is important to compare the age, condition, price and features of each vehicle to make sure you’re getting the best possible value.

Found your perfect car but not sure what to do next?

So you’ve narrowed down your search and found your favourite or top few vehicle picks, so what happens now? If you’re looking to pay cash for your vehicle, it is worth contacting the seller or dealer and arranging an inspection and test drive to make sure it is definitely the right vehicle for you.

If you’re looking for bank-beating car finance with affordable weekly repayments, contact one of our experienced Finance Consultants on 1800 538 287 who can take all the hassle out of buying your next car and guide you along the way. Or alternatively, you can simply apply online, 24/7 and your expert Finance Consultant will contact you ASAP.

We can compare hundreds of loan products from over 40 of Australia’s leading bank and non-bank lenders to find the best finance package to suit your individual needs.

Best of all, it’s obligation-free, so if for some reason, you’re not happy with the finance options, you do not have to proceed.