Wednesday, 14 September 2016

4 People and what car?

And then we got a car.

Now, I have to tell you, we've bought a car recently. We've been living without one for the last 5 years. But now we felt, we needed one. Yes, we came to the conclusion, we actually needed it. So we asked ourselves the magic questions:

1. What purpose does this item serve?
- It will carry the kids to kindergarten, me to work, it will carry the shopping for 4 people for a week (we've tried to carry the shopping or use the bicycle, it's getting too much and too heavy and we have to go to the shop every 2 days), we can visit friends, we can make day trips.
2. Have I got something at home that serves the same purpose?
- Well, we have bikes, but we can't carry both children on the bike at the same time and they are still too small to cycle themselves. We have (had) a public transport monthly ticket, but while it does take the kids to kindergarten, it doesn't help with the shopping (still too heavy), and it doesn't help us to see friends (too far away) and we've made day trips with public transport, it took ages and you can't get everywhere. Also my way to work will be 25kms once we've moved, there is no public transport at that time (I work odd hours...) so I would have to turn up 1 hour too early for work and also the bus takes twice as long. So, no, it's not really a feasible option.
3. How often would I use it?
- Daily. Several times. Actually all of the family will use it. 
4. If I don't get this item now, will it make my life difficult?
- Yes. in fact it makes our life a lot easier to own a car.

Decision made. Huge decision made.

Now, cars are something that is really difficult. What kind of car would be good? what size? new? used?  Diesel? Petrol? What brand?

We had the following criteria:

1. Budget. Before doing anything we set a budget.
2. Safety. BIG important criteria. You can check this site for safety and crash tests   Because I am a bit weird, I also checked the internet for pictures of cars after bad accidents. And car magazines reviews, too, of course. But as we are living in Germany, the German brands always win in our magazines.... :)
3. Economy (diesel versus petrol, average litres/100km)/maintenance/tax/insurance cost and environment (Euro 4 or 5)
4. Size (has to fit 4 people, 2 of which need children's seats and a week's shopping in the boot), will mainly carry me to work and all of us for eventual trips. So a people carrier (like a Kia Carens, fab car, but huge) is out of question as it is not exactly what we need. We need a "smallish car".
5. Life expectancy of car (We want to keep it until it eventually breaks down...) (choice based on brand, statistics of ADAC, absolute age and km/year on tachometer, a bit of a gamble though...)

As a result from these criteria new cars were out of question (budget) and big cars too. :) And I didn't want to lease a car. We did choose to go for a short term financing service for part of the price, but we hope the car will live longer than that.

Actually there were not that many cars left at all after we filtered for "budget"... Which is an advantage, because it means you have to think less. :) In the end, the choice was fairly easy.

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