Car buying guide

10 tips for a smart purchase at Automobile Barcelona

1. Look round the entire Fair

This will help you to include models on your list of favourite cars which you hadn’t considered initially but which could be more interesting than you thought at first.

2. What type of vehicle?

Visiting Automobile Barcelona enables you to compare all the options that spark your interest in a much more precise manner at a single venue. You’ll get an idea of the dimensions of the vehicle, the shape of the bodywork and the size of the boot.

3. Try out potential models on the spot

Buying a car at Automobile Barcelona gives you the chance to test the vehicle there and then, sit behind the wheel and check out how it feels, all essential steps to appreciate qualities such as driving enjoyment, spaciousness and modularity.

4. What use will I make of it?

If you’re going to travel chiefly around the city centre, it’s advisable to go for one with an ECO-label – hybrids, CNG (compressed natural gas), LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) or ZERO (electric cars, plug-in hybrids and fuel cells).

If you’re going to travel between 20,000 and 25,000 kilometres a year on intercity journeys, a diesel car may still be the best option, as it delivers lower fuel consumption. Modern diesel cars are very efficient and much less polluting.

If the number of kilometres per year doesn’t exceed 15,000, opt for a petrol-run vehicle, hybrid or otherwise, as this will be the most suitable choice

5. The latest connectivity innovations

Weighing up the connectivity features may help you to make a better choice. Almost all car makers offer the option of connecting a smartphone to the vehicle. By means of apps, some already allow you to remotely control different features of the vehicle, such as closing and opening it, switching on the heating or air conditioning, diagnosing the mechanical condition of the vehicle or, in the case of electric cars, gauging the battery load at any moment, among many others.

6. Invest in security

The most sophisticated cars can now recognise signals, keep a safe distance from the car in front and even steer the vehicle without the driver’s involvement. Other more common features are adaptive cruise control systems, lane departure warnings, emergency brake assist, blind spot detectors and so on.

7. Beyond the price. Aspects to bear in mind

Other aspects you should bear in mind are the costs of the car’s use, maintenance, consumption and weight (the greater the weight, the higher the aerodynamic resistance, leading to higher consumption), the size of the tyres (the larger they are, the higher the price) and so on.

8. Many ECO-label options

You’ll find many ECO-label options at the Fair at very affordable prices. There will be hybrid vehicles that are self-rechargeable (non-pluggable), most of them equipped with an electric engine combined with a petrol engine, guaranteeing particularly low urban consumption.

LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) vehicles are autonomous for around 500 kilometres and offer excellent performance. They also have an auxiliary petrol engine if required. A CNG engine saves 30%- 40% every 100 kilometres compared with a diesel engine.

9. How about buying an electric car?

Almost the entire range of electric cars will be on display at Automobile Barcelona.

When choosing the model, you should take into account the battery capacity. To give you an idea, a car with around 40 kW/h usually has a range of about 300 kilometres. Another important aspect is the recharge point. It’s advisable to have your own, or it should at least provide certain assurances.

The Fair will undoubtedly be the right place to compare models, features, autonomy and other details.

10. What payment arrangements are there?

There are a large number of ways to acquire a vehicle, from down payments to financing, renting or subscription payments. Financing can be traditional, linked to maintenance services or multioption, with the possibility of paying a final installment and keeping the vehicle or returning it by trading it in for another.

Renting, whereby an instalment is paid that includes vehicle expenses, insurance, services, maintenance, road taxes and roadside assistance. A useful arrangement for people who find it difficult to choose between one vehicle and another, as they anticipate that their needs will change. Or if issues arise due to the banning of certain technologies in cities.

Subscription payments that operate at a flat rate without initial and final instalments, enabling you to change vehicles every certain period of time, and include numerous additional services.

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