Ensuring your next car suits you now and in the future

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While the key factor in buying a car is to buy the car that suits your needs best, being smart and thinking ahead about what your future needs may be can also pay dividends in the long run.

While a smaller car in the under $25,000 price range may be all you need now, spending a little extra to buy something bigger, or with more features, could not only see you getting something that can suit your life for longer, but also be worth more and be easier to sell come upgrade time.

Under $25,000

Considering your future needs, like starting a family, can be a smart move when buying your next car.

These days a newer car in the under $25,000 price segment packs way more equipment as standard than one from even just a few years ago. Bluetooth phone connectivity, media streaming, alloy wheels, satellite navigation and increasingly sophisticated mobile phone integration are all starting to feature in this segment now.

Of course any extra equipment like these will likely pay off come resale time. The phone mirroring infotainment systems that make your smartphone an integral part of the car's entertainment, navigation and communication systems are soon likely to become something that buyers will simply expect as integration with our mobile devices becomes increasingly important to tech savvy buyers.

Safety technology is also a major decider, which makes the decision to step up to a higher price level even smarter.

While safety equipment like airbags, ABS brakes and stability control are all standard across all cars these days, features like parking sensors, backing cameras and blind spot monitoring systems are all increasingly common. With stability control recently becoming mandatory on all new cars sold in New Zealand, spending extra to get even more safety features that may well also become mandatory in the future will make the car more appealing to a potential buyer come resale time, not to mention offer greater protection for you and your family.

Around $35,000

As well as the additional safety features, more powerful engines and more infotainment features usually come with the price upgrade. Not to mention the possibility of a larger body style, as the $35,000 mark is usually where the city car size finishes with top spec models and the small car segment starts. Meanwhile in the second hand sector, stepping up to this price point sees near-new cars still under the manufacturer's warranty. It will also see things like autonomous emergency braking, self parking systems, trailer stability systems, rear cross traffic alert and other such safety systems becoming available.

$40,000 - $45,000

This price point sees even more equipment come as standard on most new cars, with features like active lane keep assist systems, lane departure warning and radar cruise control putting in an appearance. As advances towards more autonomy in cars increase, features like these will become more in demand in the second hand market, making them not only smart investments in your own safety, but also solid resale propositions.

Future passengers on the horizon?

Another factor that needs considering when buying a car might be your future family plans. A younger couple without kids may need to consider if the car they are buying now will suit their needs when they do have kids. Conversely, later in life a larger car may not be quite as necessary and downsizing may be the best way to go. This also gives you the option to use the money saved by downsizing on getting a more fully-featured smaller car.

Features we thought were luxuries not that long ago have quickly become must-haves that affect the resale value of a car. You wouldn't consider buying a car now without airbags! Make a plan that works best for you and your circumstances. And if you're considering a loan to help you step up into the price point that's the smartest choice for you, get a quick response on a Gem Car Loan by applying easily online. Or calculate your car loan payments, and what you can afford, through their online tools.

Things you need to know

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