The UK economy might be showing some signs of progress, but many of us are still feeling the squeeze. This makes shopping for a new car even tougher. Would you turn to a budget brand for your new motor?
A car is the second most expensive purchase that many of us will ever make. And when you’re parting with tens of thousands of pounds, you want to make sure that the car you buy is up to the job, right? But does that mean you have to pay premium prices for a big name brand? I’m not so sure…
If you’re looking for a good quality and fast hatchback, the default option for many is a Volkswagen Golf GTi. What you get is a speedy, beautifully constructed machine which is easy to live with, but equally good at plastering a massive smile on your face. However, you’ll have to stump up over £25,000 for the privilege.
Kia vs Volkswagen cars
I recently spent a week with the Kia Pro_Cee’d GT (pictured) and was impressed with its performance and general feel-good factor. No, it’s not as polished as the German competition and it won’t retain its value as well when you come to sell it in a few years – but you’ll have spent around £6,000 less in the first place. And I don’t know whether a Volkswagen badge is worth that much more…
Shop around and the outlook gets even bleaker for potential Golf buyers since you can find larger discounts on the Pro_Cee’d GT than the Volkswagen. Take these into account and you’ll have to raise an extra £7,000 to put a Golf on your drive. Despite the increased cost though, there are evidently people out there who are happy to pay for premium models – the BMW 3 Series for instance, vastly outsells the cheaper and larger Ford Mondeo.
But the question is, how much of a premium are you willing to pay for the ‘right’ brand? And which factors will make you reach further into your wallet – economy, equipment, performance, resale values, perceived quality? You tell me.