A Wrong CAR Choice Can sCAR You

A Human Being Is Still More Likely To Die Of A Bee Sting, Snake Bite Or AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT Than By Shark Attack. We Do Not Execute The Perpetrators Of Death By Car. We Should Not Butcher An Animal For An Inadvertent Homicide.

….Peter Benchley

With the many options generally available in the car market, it is difficult to make the right choice when picking a car. This is akin to the plethora of choices when deciding on a smartphone these days. A confusing cornucopia! What brand, body type, engine type, new/used, color, etc, etc. Several considerations are essential to make the best purchase, because the wrong car can easily be a money pit.  Some of the parameters are as follows

CLASSIC ENGINES Diesel engines are not very populate in cars, buy very common in heavier duty vehicles.  They are very economical and are ideal for drivers who travel very long journeys, as the consumption rate is lower, which translates to drastically reduced fuel costs.. The diesel engine generally consumes less than traditional gasoline and has a longer life (because it turns more slowly and wears less rapidly). It is not uncommon to see diesel cars going over 300,000 km. But diesel cars are much more expensive. Many of the mechanics in this clime don’t really understand diesel vehicles, so, they are generally more expensive as regards repairs / maintenance. They are particularly very suitable for long journeys. As for gasoline engines, their rate of fuel consumption has been reduced over the years, with progress in sophisticated engines, fine management systems, while retaining the same power, thanks to a reduction in engine displacement. They are cheaper to procure than their diesel equivalents and our mechanics find them easier to maintain.  Their  service life is limited compared to the diesel ones, with higher fuel consumption.

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NEWER OPTIONS Hybrid cars are getting increasingly more common in the the market. With both thermal and electrical technology, they emit less carbon dioxide, and consume significantly reduced fossil fuel. No pollution at low speed, so those concerned with the increasing atmospheric pollution could look in this direction. Their engines do not require maintenance but they remain very expensive because of their advanced technology. All the same, our mechanics may not find them easy to handle like conventional engines. Electric cars (like the Teslas) are not yet widespread because of the high purchase price despite electricity being cheaper than fuel. Moreover, since they are “rechargeable” (at points of recharging that are not yet legion), autonomy can constitute a handicap even if the newer models travel increasingly more distances as battery technology advances These cars are suitable for city traffic, easy to drive, non-polluting and silent.

BUY NEW OR USED? New cars have a longer lifespan with higher manufacturer warranties. They have, in the long run, few mechanical problems but are more expensive to buy. On the contrary, used cars are significantly less expensive (up to -40%) with low car insurance. However, mechanical breakdowns occur more often and they generally do not have any guarantee, or at least have short ones (6 months). Because we also sometimes want to enjoy ourselves and not think about savings, some of us take little or no account of the cost of new vehicle because it is a pleasure, and gives psychological satisfaction of the new car smell. Generally, though, there is very little difference between a well maintained late model car, and a brand new one (in terms of. mechanical performance). In reality, any perceived difference is all on the mind.

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What are the other factors you consider when shopping for a car? In my own case, I tend to prefer smaller cars with conventional internal combustion gasoline engine that is easily maintained and understood by local mechanics, has parts readily available, and is very thrifty with fuel consumption.I also prefer vehicles with automatic transmission over the manual because of the chaotic  traffic situation in Lagos, where I reside. (Yes, an automatic transmission would generally cause higher fuel consumption, make the car heavier, etc, etc, but the comfort is non-negotiable in a city with mad traffic). 

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