What is the right second car for you?

6 minute read

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Explore what your perfect second car might look like, what to consider in your search, and the impact eco-friendly models might make on your decision.

With the motoring world transforming so quickly in recent years, it’s important you keep these changes in mind when searching for your second car.

  • The look of a second car is changing for multi-car homes
  • A second car can have a big impact on your lifestyle
  • Impact on the environment is much more relevant than ever before 
From electric, to eco-friendly run-arounds, and hybrids – there’s plenty to consider when it comes to buying a second car. In this guide, we’ll discuss what makes a good second car and how to find the right one for you.

What would make a good second car for your household?

What makes a good second car?

Choosing your main car may have been about carting the whole family around or which boot had space for all the holiday suitcases, but a second car is completely different. Many families use it as a runaround for short trips or for added flexibility when it comes to playing taxi driver.

There’s no set criteria as to what makes a ‘good’ second car, it’s all about evaluating your needs and driving habits to find the best fit for you.

Take a look at your current situation and ask yourself:

  • What will you be using the car for? – will you just be using it to commute or do you travel a lot for work?
  • What is your budget? – consider whether it is worth spending a little more on a newer car, which will likely be more reliable and eco-friendlier.

Ideally, you want to be looking at a car that’s no older than five-to-seven years as this minimises the depreciation of the vehicle. This also means you’re less likely to spend more money in the long run on repairs, and it also lowers the cost of your insurance. You might also want to consider leasing your second car rather than buying it outright or getting it on finance.

The shift towards eco-friendly vehicles

Keep in mind the durability of your chosen car, both in terms of performance and regarding the general changes to vehicles in response to eco-friendly policies. There has been a big shift towards electric and hybrid models, as many brands became aware of the need to make changes.

Buying an electric, hybrid or more eco-friendly vehicle might be an excellent choice for you, especially if you’re planning to keep this new car for another five-to-ten years. Although electric and hybrid models usually incur an increased initial cost, they can be a worthwhile investment for both yourself and the planet.

By charging your car at home or at a public charging station, you will save money on petrol and general running costs, especially as traditional fuel prices continue to escalate.

Choosing the right car

When looking to find the perfect second car for you, there are a few things you should research and consider, before jumping in.

Research running costs against your budget

If you think you’ve found a car you like, you should firstly get an insurance quote so you know exactly how much it’s going to cost you on a monthly and yearly basis. Alongside this, factors such as fuel consumption and road tax also contribute to each individual car’s running costs differently.

Research the car make and model

A car might look great and tick nearly all your boxes, but is the model reliable? Take a look at professional and customer reviews before you make any big decision – as these people have already done the groundwork for you.

You should also evaluate the vehicle spec and extra features. Do you consider them to be necessary, or are they just adding cost on to the car? You may find you could be just as happy with a slightly older, lower-spec model.

Choosing the right insurance policy

If you’re planning on becoming a multi-car household, you will need to update your insurance to reflect this. Sometimes a multi-car policy can work well in this case. If you’ve chosen to purchase an electric vehicle, you should make sure your car has appropriate cover.

Electric car insurance covers you in the event of specific damages relevant to this vehicle type, such as battery damage, electrical fires and damage to charging equipment.

You will also need to evaluate what class of use your car should be insured under. These include social, domestic and pleasure (SDP) and social, domestic, pleasure and commuting (SDP+C).

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