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Buying

Choosing the Right Car
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Priorities and equipment

What comes top of your checklist of essential features and equipment that your next car has to have depends on how motoring fits into your life.

Do you dream of driving a prestige car or sports model? Love driving and spend your time looking enviously at other people's alloy wheels? If so, you'll probably tick 'ESSENTIAL' in the boxes for image, looks, comfort and performance.

Or do you view a car as more of a commodity, something that gets you from A to B, and find motoring just another of life's chores? Then you'll give high scores to reliability, value, ease of use and economy.

In real life, we all fall somewhere between these two extremes. To help you come to your own conclusions about what's essential in your next car, what equipment you'd like if the budget stretches that far, and what you can definitely live without, why not print this table and fill it in:

MY CAR SPECIFICATION PRIORITIES

FEATUREEssentialDesirableUnimportant
High safety rating   
Strong image/status   
Manufacturer Reputation   
Modern design   
Good fuel economy   
Good reliability   
Lively performance   
Low road tax   
Low company car tax   
Low insurance group   
Fun to drive   
Low CO2 emissions   
Value-for-money   
Room for five adults   
Lots of load space   
Comfort   
Ease of use   
Long warranty cover   
Good fuel economy   

EQUIPMENTEssentialDesirableUnimportant
Flexible seating/load layout   
Lots of airbags   
Automatic transmission   
Power steering   
ABS   
Sunroof   
Air conditioning   
Electric windows   
Deadlocks   
Alarm system   
Central locking   
Satellite navigation   
High-spec audio system   
Alloy wheels   
Electric seats