Should you buy an entry-level car?

Few cars these days are sold in entry-level form without any options fitted. Most buyers tick at least one option before purchasing and many ignore base-level trims all together.

These cars might miss out on the best engines, gearboxes and options but, if you have a better car to start off with, you’re not going to be complaining. Here are our favourite reasons why entry-level cars are still worth considering.

Almost no-one else knows (or cares)

You may have researched your new car thoroughly, but most other people haven’t. Almost no-one will know whether you’ve bought the base trim or one costing thousands more. Terms like “Design”, “Touch” and “Active” are meaningless to anyone not intimately familiar with Vauxhall, Citroen and Toyota’s ranges respectively.

You can save thousands

The price difference between the entry-level Ford Fiesta Studio and the next model up is £1,750. That’s very nearly a 20 per cent saving and the only meaningful difference is the lack of air conditioning.

You see the same tale everywhere. A basic Vauxhall Corsa is £1,905 cheaper than the next trim above it. If you prefer a larger car, Nissan’s Pulsar is £1,950 pricier in mid-grade Acenta trim than basic Visia specification. The gulf is present even in tiny city cars – Citroen’s C1 is £1,250 cheaper in Touch trim than in Feel.

You don’t need most toys anyway

Few will truly mind cracking a window instead of turning the air-conditioning on. Headlights are much more efficient now – even in standard form – so moving to xenon or LED units is unnecessary.

We all have our own preferred radio station so, often, the choice of DAB is superfluous – particularly if the car comes with USB or aux inputs for your own audio device.

Fewer gadgets means fewer faults

Another benefit to not paying thousands for toys you’ll use once or twice in the vehicle’s lifetime is that they aren’t there to go wrong.

The more gadgets you add, the more chance you have of something going awry. Equally, as gadgets get more complicated they become ever more involving, and thus costly, to repair.

They’re often more economical to run

Entry level cars tend to be the one of the most economical of any model range to run. Indeed, while more expensive models might offer more advanced and efficient drivetrains, you’d have to own them for a long time to make back the extra cost over the basic model.

In addition to having the least amount of power, base models are also usually the lightest – electric windows, leather seats and air-conditioning are all bulky add-ons – and that means less weight to get up to speed and less fuel used. It also means less wear on braking components.

What next?

Head over to our car configurator to see how much you could save on your dream car. Or, for more options, check out our deals page.

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