Buying appliances: would you pay more now if you save later?
How much do you consider the long-term running costs of appliances? It doesn’t always pay to go for the cheapest – buy a model that costs less to run and it could work out cheaper in the long run.
When buying your next appliance you’re probably mainly concerned with getting the one that does its job well, isn’t going to break down, and isn’t going to cost you the earth.
Which?’s Best Buy recommendations and a quick check of your available funds will arm you with all the information you need to buy the best product for your needs.
But if upfront cost is one of the most crucial factors for you, have you ever considered that you may be making a short-term saving which could come back to haunt you?
The hidden costs of running your appliances
Our testing shows several examples where low running costs mean that a more expensive model works out cheaper in the long run than a cheaper one. This means that what seems like a bargain could end up costing you hundreds of pounds.
So we’ve introduced new energy cost calculators for everyone to see at a glance how much different models cost to run. They’re crucial reading if you’re about to buy a new telly, dishwasher or laundry or refrigeration appliance as you can see immediately how they compare side-by-side and why it’s sometimes better to shell out a little more at the outset.
Take fridge freezers. Our reliability survey shows that most brands give you years of happy cooling so, once you’ve bought one, you’re unlikely to need to replace it for a long time. But, as they’re always on, the difference between an energy-efficient model and a guzzler means hidden costs could be drastically increasing your electricity bills.
Our testing reveals a huge gulf between the efficiency of two similarly-sized fridge-freezers from sister-brands Hotpoint and Indesit. The Indesit BAN12NF is slightly cheaper at £250 but what you won’t know in the shop is that its annual running cost is around £53.
If you’d splashed out an extra £50 for the Hotpoint RF175M, you’d have recouped that difference within two years thanks to its impressively moderate £18 annual running costs. And – as the graphic below shows – over seven years, you’ll have saved almost £200.
We know that running costs aren’t the top priority for everyone and we don’t advocate trading in a functioning old appliance for a new one. But if you are in the market for a new one, then these calculators could stop you from making a choice you’ll live to regret.
How much do you think about running costs when you buy new appliances and do you think these calculators will help you in future?
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