Buying a commuter car is not different from buying any other type of car for any other sort of purpose. In all cases you’re going to need to know your budget, make sure you get all the important bits checked, test drive it, get it insured and everything else.
But, if we’re honest, as a commuter you should know a few things before you take the plunge. That’s why we’ve put together these expert tips to help you find the perfect car for commuting.
For all the other practical information about purchasing a car, check out our complete car buyer’s guide. It’s got everything you need in one place.
1. Used or new?
Call us biased but we think a used car is ideal for commuting. Once a car is older than 2 or 3 years old it’s already taken the biggest depreciation hit. This means you could find a great used car with not too many miles and in excellent condition to take you on your daily commute. Plus, the cheaper price tag of a used car will give you plenty more choice than if you were to buy a new one.
If you prefer a new car for your daily commute, that’s also a great idea, but you may be a bit more constrained by the budget and options it affords you.
2. Fuel economy
Fuel economy is one of the most important factors to think about when you put a lot of miles on your car every day. The best cars for commuting are those with great fuel economy – anything over 50mpg. Think the Seat Leon 1.6 TDI 110 Ecomotive’s 56.0mpg or the Toyota Yaris 1.5 Hybrid‘s 59.3mpg.
What type of driving will you do on your commute? Is it mostly city driving? Or you’ll need to get on the motorway for a big chunk of the drive? Make sure you read the fuel-economy estimates for the model you’ve got your eyes set on and check they make sense.
Overall, diesel cars are more fuel-efficient than petrol vehicles, but they will only make up for their higher price tag if you drive them on the motorway and over long distances. Petrol cars, on the other hand, are better for urban driving where you often sit in traffic. Although, if you’re only going to use the car for city driving, then the most fuel-efficient choice will be a hybrid or even an electric car.