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Buying Your Next Car

Everything you need to know about choosing your next used car

Used car buyer's guide

Engine Type

Whilst petrol engines are smoother and more refined than diesel engines, historically they have been less efficient than diesel engines over long distances. However, with the latest technology there are now many engines under 2 litres which are powerful enough for larger cars. For example; the award winning 1.2l puretech engine found in many petrol Peugeot models and the 1.4l TSI engine fitted to many VW products have similar power outputs to larger petrol engines from the 1990s, but benefit from using a lot less fuel.  

Petrol is also cheaper to buy at the pump compared to diesel, so if you are doing shorter trips and less than 10,000 miles a year then a used petrol car could be the perfect choice for you. 

Diesel engines are usually more efficient than petrol engines and on average use 15-20% less fuel especially on longer drives. Since they use less fuel, they also produce less CO2 emissions. However, they produce more NOx gases than petrol engines.

Diesel engines produce more torque which makes then better suited for larger cars and for towing. This means they produce more power at lower revs. 

Diesel can cost more than petrol, but this extra cost is a trade off to the extra fuel economy of a diesel. So if you frequently drive long distance, a used diesel car may make sense for your needs. 

Used Yellow Audi A1 on a mid range finance budget

Blue BMW X1 that has a flexible budget on finance

Boot Size

Practicality is an essential consideration when choosing your next car to ensure that it fits into your life perfectly. 

When deciding what size car you need it is worth considering who, what and how often people and things travel with you. If you are single or don't have children than a smaller car such as a city car, convertible or sports car may fit well in your life. 

If you have a growing family or often carry larger objects in your car then a medium sized boot is needed. These are found in hatchbacks such as the Volkswagen Golf, Skoda Octavia and Mercedes A-Class.

If you have a large family and often carry large items then you will need a big boot to carry everything. An SUV or estate such as the Peugeot 2008 or VW Passat Estate have much larger boots which will swallow up everything you need it to. 


With a manual gearbox you change gears yourself using the clutch and gear lever. Used cars with manual gearboxes are often cheaper than their automatic equivalent so offer more value if having an automatic is not important to you. 

Manual gearboxes also give you more control and add enjoyment if you enjoy driving. Some manual gearboxes can be more efficient than an automatic however with modern gearboxes there is less of a difference.  

An automatic car changes gear for you. There are just two pedals; the brake and accelerator. 

The main benefit of an automatic gearbox is that they are easier to drive as you don't need to change gear or make sure you are in the right gear. Automatic gearboxes can also make driving less painful if you have any health issues. 
Used Orange Mercedes E Class Coupe car side view on a luxury finance budget

Upfront Cost

The upfront cost is determined by you and is the finance deposit. It may be funded by your part exchange in full or topped up with some savings.

Finance Payments

The finance payment will depend on the total price of the car. As well as the type, length, and APR of the finance agreement.

Car Insurance

The cost of car insurance can vary depending on a range of factors such as your age, job, annual mileage, points on your license, previous claims and the car itself.

Servicing Costs

Servicing costs will vary between different cars. If you drive lots of miles then your car will need servicing more often. Some manufacturers offer servicing plans which allows you to spread the cost.

Maintaining you car

Car Ownership and Maintenance Guides

If you're looking for help with maintaining and looking after your car, then why not read our car maintenance and how-to guides?

From looking after your tyres, to finding out the step-by-step process for selling your vehicle, bravoauto have a host of informative and practical information to read.

By looking after your car properly, you might be able to save money over its lifetime. Poorly maintained cars can often present you with unexpected costs, which is why all of ours come with a 21 day money-back guarantee, 12 months warranty, 12 months breakdown assistance and a 150-point check to help ensure your bills are a kept to a minimum.

Why not read more below?
a car receiving 150 point safety check