Top 10 types of cars for 2009
Do you want to buy a new car this year? You may have your heart set on a particular make or model and you’ve scanned the internet for new and second-hand car prices and decided that you can afford to buy the car of your dreams, but one question to ask yourself. Can you afford to run it?
You may have asked yourself this question in passing before and not really thought about it, but with the changes in excise taxes in 2009 and the rising costs of fuel and maintenance, along with the credit crunch and the end of the recession for years to come. After years, running costs become much more important, so compromising and choosing a car that not only appeals to you, but will also save you money in the long run is a tricky task.
What about changes in excise tax on vehicles? Cars are now classified according to the amount of carbon dioxide they emit, therefore the most environmentally friendly cars will be charged less excise duty on vehicles than the most polluting vehicles. At the time of writing, the least polluting cars will be exempt from paying tax, while the most polluting cars (class M), such as large 4x4s, will have to pay £ 440 a year. In 2010-11 this cost will increase further to £ 455 per year.
If you are looking to buy a new car, there will be another hit on your wallet and it has been dubbed the ‘showroom tax’. If you’re looking to drive that M-Class car out of the showroom, you’ll also have to face a bill for a one-time ‘showroom tax’ payment of £ 950.
To help you choose the right car in this current environmental and financial climate, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten cars and car-related schemes to consider that could save you money.
1. Buy a small family hatchback. Small family hatchbacks are generally cheaper to operate and are usually large enough to meet the needs of most people. For example, the VW Polo Bluemotion 1.4 Tdi is an inexpensive runabout that belongs to the Group A tax strip. Not only do you not have to pay any tax on this vehicle, you can also avoid paying the showroom tax as this diesel car it is so inexpensive that it is exempt. This car also boasts around 70 mpg, which makes it super cheap to drive.
2. Buy a diesel. When it comes to economy cars, diesel-powered vehicles are the first to appear in most people’s minds. While historically this was typically true, with the cost of diesel at the pump increasingly exceeding the cost of gasoline, buying a diesel may not be the best way to save money. For drivers who typically need to drive many miles each year, a diesel will still be more profitable than its gasoline equivalent. However, if you don’t drive many miles, this may not be true. You will need to do the math before taking the step of buying a diesel car. On the bright side, the miles per gallon of a diesel vehicle is usually much higher than that of gasoline cars, so at least it will do more for the environment. Diesel vehicles are also often classified in a lower tax band that saves money on excise duties on vehicles.
3. Bi-fuel automobiles. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a method of powering a car or truck is becoming a popular way to run a vehicle more environmentally and economically. Although you can buy a new bi-fuel car, many people pay to convert their current car to be LPG compliant. The cost of converting a car is usually around £ 1500 and a real saving of around 30% in fuel costs can be achieved with each fill at the pumps. Finding a gas station that sells LPG can be one of the most difficult aspects of owning an LPG vehicle, as at least 10% of service stations now stock this type of alternative fuel.
4. Electric cars. – For many years, electric cars have been presented as the salvation from rising fuel costs and the protection of the environment from pollution from cars. Unfortunately, in reality, the electric vehicle has not lived up to expectations, with slow vehicles and a limited range of short battery life. There are some vehicles on the market that may be suitable for your circumstances. If you live in the center of a major capital like London, then a vehicle like the G-Wiz may be the right vehicle for you. Owning a G-Wiz in London could make a lot of sense as they are exempt from paying Westminster parking fees, they don’t have to pay the central London congestion charge, and they are free of road tax and petrol costs. . However, there are some pitfalls. The G-Wiz is a small vehicle and it feels very cramped inside. The car has a top speed of 50 to 60 miles per hour, which may not be the end of the world in a city where traffic is barely moving faster than a snail’s pace. Another limiting factor is that the vehicle’s range is only 70 miles and it takes a while to recharge the batteries, which is not as simple as filling it up at a gas station. A less extreme version of the G-Wiz is the Toyota Prius, a hybrid electric vehicle that runs predominantly on gasoline, but uses electrical power at low speeds and recharges batteries at faster speeds. The Prius can do around 65 miles per gallon, making it an extremely economical car to drive.
5. Big cars for the family and the dog. If you are single and want to save money on your car’s running costs or do your part for the environment, then you have a lot more options than families who need a bigger vehicle for everyone. While smaller cars are more likely to be inexpensive, there are some larger vehicles that have been designed with both space and economy in mind. Take the Ford Focus C-Max 1.6 TDCI LX, a minivan that has been designed to provide plenty of room inside. This is a five-seat car that has a 1620-liter boot and a top speed of 115 mph. With fairly low emissions, helping to save money on excise duties, and a decent economy at 58mpg, this vehicle is a good bet for a family looking to save money.
6. Sporty performance in a “green car”. Traditionally, being green means that you also have to sacrifice something. However, car manufacturers, aware of this, have tried to reach a compromise: a car with good performance, but one that can also give a decent MPG return. For example, the Honda Accord 2.2 I-CTDI Sport is one of these cars with 52.3 MPG and a top speed of 129 miles per hour, a great combination of efficiency and performance that can meet all your expectations.
7. Buy a classic car. If you are afraid of losing a lot of money on the value of your car, buying a classic car may be the best option for you. Try to avoid fashion trends like VW Beetles and Camper Vans, which inflate the cost of these vehicles in the short term so that they only crash at a later date. Instead, choose a car that pure enthusiasts crave, as most classic cars tend to hold in value or actually increase over time as long as they are cared for. Maintenance costs are likely to be much higher with a classic vehicle and may not be the cheapest on the market, but for a pure return on investment, if you choose the right vehicle, you are likely to get your money back when come sell the why.
8. Vehicle sharing schemes. Those looking to save money on the daily running costs of their cars could consider car sharing schemes. Basically car sharing schemes are set up so that people take turns driving, allowing them to save money on fuel and get the benefit of not having to drive all the time. There are many car-sharing schemes, such as those established for parents attending school and a scheme for members of the London Metropolitan Police. Explore the options in your local area and you may find that car sharing is a great way to save money. Perhaps, if you want to get even more involved, you could consider establishing your own plan.
9. Timeshare cars. You’ve heard all about timeshare villas on the Costa del Sol, but you don’t need to be afraid of timeshare car schemes. These schemes can range from clubs where you get a part of a Ferrari or Bentley to drive on weekends from time to time, to pay-as-you-go car schemes where you can join a club and simply book a tour for the entire time you want from an hour to a day. For those who tend to predominantly use public transportation and can’t really justify owning a car, a pay-as-you-go scheme can be the perfect way to get access to a car without having to pay high rental costs. Do you live in a city and you fancy a walk in the country once a month? No problem, reserve a car online and pick it up, swipe your membership card on the dash and you’re done! Fuel costs are generally included (up to a point) and insurance is also purchased.
10. Auto financing packages.In today’s economic climate, hiring a car financing package makes perfect sense, as it can spread your payments over many months, allowing you to fully budget for your vehicle. If you are considering buying a car for cash on an esplanade, you may be worried about the recession and layoff. Having savings in the bank can help provide comfort and peace of mind. Spending those savings in the current climate may not be the most sensible thing to do, therefore buying a car in a car financing plan can be a smart move. Also, you can probably afford a better car on finances than you could buy if you were to buy a car outright. The newer the car, the more likely maintenance costs will be reduced, again saving you money in the long run.