What Car Should I Buy? Driva’s Complete Guide

When you are scouring Carsales or apprehensively wandering through a local car lot wondering, ‘what car should I buy?’, there are two things you must find the answer to. 

Firstly (and most importantly), you must understand what you need or want the car for and secondly, you need to know your budget. 

It’ll make the process of finding the perfect car much less daunting and more fruitful! 

So, let's ask the first question.

Are you after…

An affordable used car to transport you and your family members? 

Is the purpose of a vehicle to have something you can use to get you and your family around town? Taking the kids to school, getting to work, going to the grocery store, or for recreational activities. If that’s the case, consider a vehicle that can accommodate your entire family all at one time. If this is what you’re after, then cars like people movers are a popular choice, as they have lots of cargo space, seven or more seats, and are plentiful on the used market.  

A commercial vehicle to fulfil your growing business’s work duties?

When it comes to choosing commercial vehicles for the fulfilment of your work duties, it’s highly dependent on the duties your job entails. Consider what the needs of a vehicle for commercial purposes are before making any firm decisions. Are you a tradie who needs something powerful like a Ford Ranger to tow a trailer, or will you need something more practical like small SUVs if you’re a real estate agency?

A brand new car with great fuel efficiency to align with your values?

Looking to cut down on your personal carbon footprint? Looking to save some money at the pump? You’re going to want to find either a more fuel-efficient model, a hybrid, or something fully electric! Electric cars have come leaps and bounds over the past few years, so a new car purchase may be what you need if you have recently been driving something less suited to your lifestyle. Weigh each option's pros and cons and see which makes the most sense for your wallet and values. 

A second car/4WD with awesome off-road ability to take on adventures? 

Have the spirit of adventure in your heart but a car that can’t handle off road driving? Well, then you need a second car that’s more for adventuring than it is for everyday use. So, take a look for a car that can handle difficult off-road terrains to help aid that adventurous spirit. You’ll likely need to narrow your search down to large SUVs and away from sedans if you want to get off those nice paved roads. 

Luxury cars that fit your lifestyle and exude style?

Looking to show off your style? There are so many options for those looking to make a move on the higher-end makes and models of cars. You’ll be able to take out the best convertibles and best coupes for a test drive at most car dealers - make sure to take your time finding the car that’s the perfect fit for your lifestyle. 

Cosy people movers with lots of interior space to sleep in as you tour Australia?

Looking to transport yourself and your family around Australia? You’re going to need something a bit more spacious than your standard car. We’re talking about vehicles such as minivans and people movers. You can find numerous people movers on used car markets that are affordable, practical and meet all of your family conditions. 

Okay, great. Now the second question. 

What is your budget for your used or new vehicle?

One of the more crucial aspects of buying a car is understanding what you’re able to actually spend on the vehicle. While there’s always the opportunity to get loans, you have to be realistic about what is within your price range. 

To understand what sort of price you’ll be paying for a monthly car loan, take a look at Driva’s Car Finance Calculator. Only you know what your budget for a vehicle is, and you need to budget wisely to avoid falling behind on payments. Remember, the right car for you must not put too much of a strain on your budget!

Now we’ve answered the two most important questions when you’re wondering, ‘what car should I buy,’ there are a few more questions you can ask yourself that’ll help narrow the search. 

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    Should I buy a brand-new car or a used car?

    Depending on your budget, you might wonder which car suits you better - new or secondhand.

    Let’s compare the two. Suppose you’re going for a brand-new vehicle. In this case, you’re going to get a car that is in pristine condition, under warranty, has no immediate repair needs, likely uses less fuel and most importantly, has a lower loan rate. Of course, brand-new cars aren’t perfect and have their cons attached to them. Some cons include higher insurance premiums, higher annual registration, hidden fees, dealing with dealerships, and value depreciation.  

    On the other hand, buying second-hand has its pros and cons too. The pros of buying a second-hand car include its cost-effectiveness, reduced insurance rates, and, if done through a company, the knowledge that it’s been checked out thoroughly. The cons of buying a used vehicle are potential hidden problems, outdated features and tech, poorer driving dynamics and increased maintenance costs.

    Should I choose an electric, petrol or diesel option?

    This question should be influenced by the prior question. If you’re purchasing a brand-new car, consider going electric or hybrid.


    Because of the current push for green alternatives, governments and provinces are offering tax incentives that will lower the cost of purchasing an electric or hybrid car. When buying a used vehicle, it’s likely you’ll find far more petrol and diesel options than you would electric or hybrid cars. This is due to the supply and demand where petrol and diesel cars have been produced far longer and in larger quantities compared to electric and hybrid cars.

    However, none of this means you shouldn’t get a new petrol or diesel car. There are more affordable petrol and diesel options for newer vehicles than for hybrids or electric cars.

    When should I not buy a car?

    You shouldn’t buy a car if you’re unable to afford it or make the monthly payments on a loan used to get the car. Nobody should aim to get something they cannot afford and put it at risk of repossession. This leads to negative effects on your credit score, which can hurt your chances in the future of getting another vehicle, a home loan, etc. 

    At Driva, we have the privilege of helping Australians secure the finances they need to buy their perfect car. We have broken down a few of the most bought and loved cars we have seen in 2022 below. 

    Favourite 4WD for off-road adventures around Australia

    The Toyota Hilux


    • The best service and parts network.
    • Strong and sturdy design.
    • The cabin is simple yet extremely functional.


    • After six months, you’ll service the car and experience ownership costs climb.

    Toyota’s HiLux is beloved in Australia for its rugged design and ability to handle anything and everything that comes with an Australian road trip. That’s right, on-road or off-road, this is the perfect car for the journey. 

    The interior is a modern, stylish, and sleek design featuring the latest technology. It drives like a dream and achieves comfortable speeds. They’ve made sure to think of everything to make longer journeys more comfortable such as additional cup holders, climate control air conditioning, ample storage, and more. Overall, the Toyota HiLux is a fan-favourite for a reason, and those reasons are extremely positive. 

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    Favourite everyday car for practicality

    The Toyota Corolla


    • Striking design.
    • The cornering grip is phenomenal. 
    • The turbo three-cylinder engine is great!


    • It can sometimes be difficult to get due to demand and a limited supply. 

    Another Australian fan favourite is used more for everyday use: the Toyota Corolla. You choose either the spacious sedan or the sporty hatchback design for this small vehicle. You win either way, but why not style it more to your desires? It’s a hybrid vehicle with a striking design, brilliant performance on the road, and the latest technology. 

    Overall, Toyota blows other car makers out of the water by offering the best cars on the Australian market. With a fuel efficiency of 3-9-6L/100km, it’s no wonder this car is so in demand.

    Favourite people mover for bigger families

    Honda Odyssey


    • It’s easy to manoeuvre.
    • There’s ample space.
    • The Odyssey is super comfortable. 


    • The engine is a touch thirsty.

    For the bigger families, you will need a vehicle that can handle your entire clan. That’s where the Honda Odyssey comes into play. The Odyssey is an amazing vehicle with the latest technology, like doors that open with the wave of a hand. You’ve got five doors and seven seats in total, meaning there’s a lot of space for everyone in a comfortable, spacious car.

    Now, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this car's biggest downside is that it’s a thirsty vehicle requiring more to run. It’s not a fuel-efficient car by any means and is more geared towards providing space to larger families. Overall, the Honda Odyssey is a great car for medium to large families who constantly have to juggle taking kids all over town.

    Favourite hybrid for sustainability

    Toyota RAV4


    • The features in the standard version are more than enough. 
    • The rear and boot have ample space.
    • Really stylish vehicle.


    • It takes a while to get your hands on a RAV4.

    We could have easily given you the Toyota Corolla as the best pick, but since we’ve already spoken about that car, we wanted to highlight the RAV4. This vehicle is a hybrid SUV that is quickly becoming another favourite amongst Australians. It’s a spacious vehicle with a fuel economy of 4.7L/100km. 

    You get the option of making it an All-wheel-drive as well if you’re looking for more power. This vehicle is ready to drive you across Australia in comfort and style. Toyota has done it again.


    You’ve asked yourself all the important questions, and now it’s time to find your car and make a purchase. There are so many amazing options out there waiting for you. When you’re ready, you’ll want to find the car loan that helps make that dream car a reality. With Driva, you can access various lenders conveniently in one place. 

    All you need to do is place your information into the system, and it churns out the best loan options for you. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to apply for a loan and get yourself a nice new car. 


    What is the most reliable car to buy on the Australian market?

    Australia’s most reliable brand is considered Toyota, with their Hilux and Corolla models taking top spots in consumer confidence. They’re not too expensive, can handle the majority of the Australian outback, look good, drive even better, and are comfortable vehicles. 

    What is the best vehicle to get on a budget?

    Right now, the best vehicle to get in Australia on a budget is the Kia Cerato S. When asking yourself, ‘what car should I buy?’ and factoring in a budget that’s not significant, then the Kia Cerato S might be your best bet. It’s a good-looking car going for under $26k and has a respectable fuel efficiency of 7.4L/100km.

    What car brands are worth buying?

    There are a lot of amazing car brands out there worth considering. The most popular brands in Australia are reliable options like Toyota, Kia, Mazda, Ford, Hyundai, and even a strong showing from EV car maker- Tesla. 

    Declan Flaherty

    As the Digital Marketing Manager at Driva you can find Declan during the day transfixed by a flurry of spreadsheets, mar-tech, Slack emojis and graphs all pointing in the right direction and keeping up to date with the latest car finance trends.

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