Choosing the right car

  • 14 June 2011
  • Home Energy Centre

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A new car is a big investment, so it’s important that you choose carefully. You can save a lot on your car purchase price, and on ongoing fuel costs, if you choose a car for what you usually do, not what you sometimes do.

When you’ve decided the type of car you want, look for a model that uses less fuel. Cars that seem similar in most respects may use different amounts of fuel depending on the engine type.

A good place to start looking is the Right Car website. It lists cars, 4WDs, SUVs, vans and utility vehicles sold in New Zealand since 2005, and compares how different makes and models rate for:
  • fuel economy
  • driver safety
  • others' safety
  • carbon dioxide emissions
  • air pollution performance.
A six star rating system is used for each category. The more stars, the better the vehicle.

Diesel powered cars

A car that runs on diesel – if it’s one manufactured since 2002 - is more fuel efficient than most petrol engines. Modern diesels can be up to 30% more economical than petrol equivalents. See Rightcar for more information about specific models.

Clean technology

If you buy a second hand car, look for a car with a catalytic converter, and visit Rightcar to find out which cars will produce less pollution in your neighbourhood.

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