Pick a responsible car
If you can’t live without a car or walking, cycling and public transport is not a viable alternative, try to choose as clean as a car as possible. Focus on a car with low emissions (expressed as grams per kilometer of carbon dioxide, or g/km of CO2) and its fuel economy (miles per gallon, or mpg).
Think about the manufacturing
Try to pick a make of car with a track record for environmental performance. Not all manufacturers are as green as they would like you to think.
Pick a clean-fuel car
You may want to consider an alternative fuel car (Bio-fuel, LPG, CNG), a hybrid or electric car. These technologies are not for everyone, for example, an electric car would not suit someone who lives out of a city centre or wants to drive on motorways. Remember, often fuel-efficient petrol and diesel cars are just as economical as hybrids depending on driving conditions and usually cheaper to buy and maintain.
Read our guide to car fuel types
Know what you want and can afford
Choose your vehicle at the right price level, you may want to consider a used car as opposed to a new one, or even a pre-registered vehicle.
Online is a good place to start looking, collect information and to benchmark the lowest possible price. There are many discounts to be had if you purchase your new vehicle through an online retailer however don’t do so before visiting your local dealer, they may be able to match the price for you.
Just like you would shop around for Car Insurance, don’t settle for the first Car Finance quote. The dealer won’t necessarily offer you the best package so search the internet and even your local high street bank or supermarket for the best deals.
Remember to consider all the costs involved in car ownership. These include Road Tax, company car tax, fuel costs, congestion charge, servicing and maintenance, parking and depreciation.
Find the right Car for You
If you live in central London and will be entering the congestion charge zone, buy a car that is exempt from paying the daily charge.
Make sure the car is a suitable size to carry passengers you require including boot space. Don’t be afraid to take the pram or golf clubs to the dealership to make sure the car meets your needs.
Ask yourself if the vehicle is suitable for the miles and speeds you travel. If your usual commute is around cities and you are stuck in traffic, a small supermini may be more suitable than even the most fuel-efficient motorway barge.
Read reviews in consumer guides including details about reliability, manufacturer warranty and even the service offered by the dealers.