Choosing the right car for your lifestyle

When it comes to choosing your perfect car, what you’re going to use it for is probably the most important consideration. Whether it’s an economical run around, a ‘work horse’ of an estate, a comfortable 4 x 4 or a luxury saloon, they’re all suited to different needs.

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Fortunately, modern cars are quite versatile, so it’s not an all or nothing decision. You don’t need to scrimp on luxury and performance just because you need an estate car’s boot space any more than you need worry about your 4x4 being better suited to a farm track than a suburban cul-de-sac. You can have your cake and eat it.

There are budgets to consider though. And not to forget running costs, personal priorities and preferences.

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So to help you make sense of it all, we’ve outlined some key areas for consideration as well as our top suggestions for the most common hobbies and needs.

Interior space

If you are active and travel with people, equipment – or even pets – you’re going to want a car with plenty of interior space; especially in the rear. Look for larger hatchbacks, MPVs and SUVs.

Larger 4x4 vehicles will also fit the bill if your budget is a bit more fluid.

As well as space in the back, you will need a car with plenty of leg room inside for passenger comfort and enough infotainment kit to keep everyone entertained.

Roof space

The roof is a great way to extend the carrying capacity of your car. Whether you opt for a storage box, a bike rack, ski rack or even a rack for your canoe – it gives you some added versatility.

Roof rails are often an added extra on cars, so you’ll need to narrow your search accordingly if you want to buy one with them already fitted. But the good news is they can be added retrospectively for a few hundred pounds.

Towing capacity

If you’re a caravanner, a camper, an equestrian enthusiast or a sailor, you’ll probably want to use your car to tow.

Depending on what you are hauling, be it a caravan or a boat trailer, you’re going to need to know what the vehicle can tow comfortably. Details of the maximum weight the car can tow are usually found on the spec sheet or in the owners’ manual.

You will need a tow bar on the car which must be type approved, meets EU regulations and is designed to fit your particular car. Type approved tow bars will be labelled with an approval number and details of the vehicles it’s approved for.

The weight of the trailer should be lower than the max towing weight – the weight of a fully loaded vehicle (luggage and passengers) – plus the nose weight of the trailer and the tow bar.

You will need to know the kerb weight of your vehicle, which is the standard weight of your car without luggage or people. It is recommended that the item you’re towing weighs no more than 85% of the kerb weight. So, the bigger the car, the heavier and greater the towing capacity.

The Royal Yachting Association has this guide to the regulations surrounding the use of trailers which is quite handy!

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Drive trains

To tow trailers or to carry heavier loads, you will need a premium used car with plenty of torque. You may also have a preference between a manual or an automatic transmission. Manuals tend to be more fuel efficient and have higher legal towing limits that automatics. However, automatics  tend to be heavier and so give you a higher towing limit. Not only that, but driving an automatic, particularly for long distances, is easier and more comfortable.

You could also consider vehicles with semi-automatic or continuously variable transmissions (CVT). Both are slightly more fuel efficient than fully automatic gear boxes, but the towing ratios tend to be similar to manuals.

Four-wheel drives are great for towing because they deliver more traction than two-wheel drives. They also have higher kerb weights that two-wheel drive alternatives, which means that maximum towing limits are increased.

The best choice for towing? Perhaps an automatic 4x4.

Used car for camping

If you are a camping enthusiast, you will need space for your camping gear and your passengers. You may also be towing a trailer tent. In that case a premium SUV, such as a BMW X5 or a Audi Q5 could be a good options for you.

Used cars for towing boats and caravans

You could well be towing up and down slipways and inclines or manoeuvring caravans in muddy fields and campsites – in which case – a quality used automatic 4x4 would be a great choice. Have a look at the trusty Land Rover Discovery, the luxury Lexus LX570 or perhaps even a mighty Jeep Grand Cherokee?

Used cars for Family & holidays 

If you like to go on family holidays, you’ll probably be driving some distance – either in the UK or abroad. So, you will almost certainly want a balance between comfort, interior capacity and towing capabilities.

Have a look at the BMW 5 Series – Touring if you want a little extra boot space! The Audi A6 Avant is also a very popular choice among busy outdoors families – as is the Volvo XC40.

Used cars for adventure & sports

Getting out into the great outdoors, walking, mountain biking, taking part in cycling sportives and triathlons – or even enjoying a round of golf – will see you needing a car that can carry your gear and comfortably take a roof rack or a bike rack.

Our suggested options here are the Honda Civic estate, Nissan X-Trail, Mini Clubman or the beautifulLand Rover Discovery Sport – not forgetting, of course, the versatile Audi Q5.

Used cars for country pursuits

In the UK, Land Rover is seen as the quintessential car for those who enjoy the ‘hunting, fishing and shooting’ lifestyle. But they are also, very often, used to transport the kids to and from nursery and the school gate. They are safe and comfortable and a whole range of child seats will fit – they even have the capacity to get the dogs in the back or the ability to tow a horse box.

Most popular models include the Land Rover Discovery

So regardless of your need or preferred hobby, you can see there is a wealth of options to choose from. Still not sure, why not check out our full range of stock and visit https://www.junction17cars.co.uk/stock/ to find the ideal used car for your lifestyle.