When you’re looking for your next car, there’s a huge number of factors you’re going to want to consider. Studies consistently show that people tend to focus primarily on safety when buying a new car, with other factors such as available technology and possible MPG also figuring into the decision-making process.
The focus on brand
There is one aspect, however, that may be influencing your decision more than you think: the brand of car. While it’s tempting to think that you’re going to make a purchase based solely on the stats and facts of a vehicle, there’s no denying that perception of car brands, and their place in popular culture, will influence your thinking: Vauxhalls are thought to be inherently reliable and robust, Audis break down all the time, and people write songs about Mercedes-Benz. The brand of car will undoubtedly have an influence on your purchasing decision.
Is this a good thing? Or could your bias (even if you don’t know you have it) towards, or against, certain car brands actually hamper your purchasing decision?
The problem with reputations
In some ways, the reputation a brand has can be incredibly useful when it comes to making your purchasing decision. If you’re looking for reliability, then opting for a brand new 18 plate Vauxhall is likely to be a wise choice; the same is true if you’re looking for style and choose to opt for an Audi.
However, reputations are not always a true reflection of a brand— for both good and bad. While a reputation a brand has can be used to influence your search, reputation alone should not be enough to justify the eventual purchase. The car itself, and its features will ultimately be more important than the brand.
Shying away from “uncool” brands
At the risk of sounding rather like an embarrassing uncle trying to be “down with the kids”, there’s no denying the fact that some car brands just aren’t cool. While this is unlikely to be the sole influence on your purchasing decision, given the choice, you’d likely prefer a brand that has a reputation for being cutting-edge and on the cusp of fashion, which means that you might neglect brands that don’t have that sheen of “cool”.
This can be a mistake, as the “uncool” brands are perfectly capable of delivering incredible cars that could be perfectly suited to your needs. It’s far better to find a car that works for you rather than making compromises as you don’t want to buy a brand that you feel is lacking somewhat in the cool department.
So how much of a factor should the brand be when buying a new car?
Ultimately, the decision regarding which new car to buy is a combination of a number factors. While it’s inevitable, and harmless, for the brand of car to be a factor in this decision, brand should never be the deciding factor of choosing a new car. Read the specs, go for a test drive, and do all you can to ensure you make the right purchasing choice for you— even if that means opting for a brand you had never previously considered.