What Qualities to Look for in a Globetrotting Vehicle?
There are all kinds of ways you can travel the world. Plane, train, bus or hitch-hiking are all common means, but for ultimate freedom and convenience you can’t beat a car.
Of course if you do choose to traverse the globe on four wheels then the car you choose is one of the most important decisions you will make – but what are the qualities you should look for and which vehicles offer them?
Reliability & Durability
The last thing you want while you travel the world is to break down in a strange country where no one speaks the same language or, worse still, in the middle of nowhere. With this in mind, it is essential that whatever car you choose boasts reliability and, if you’re planning on taking on more difficult terrain, durability.
Before you export your car from the UK to wherever it is you’re starting out you should look to get your vehicle fully serviced as well as conduct checks on all important features that aren’t included in a service.
According to ReliabilityIndex.com’s Top 100 the Honda Jazz was the most reliable over the last twelve months while the Vauxhall Agila had the lowest average cost of repair at just £73.60.
If you’re looking for something more capable of tackling challenging terrain however then you need to be looking for something a little more rugged.
Even if you only plan on driving on official roadways it is likely that your vehicle will come in for a fair share of punishment so do you really want to shell out thousands of pounds on a brand new vehicle especially for your travels?
Reliability is essential, however just because a car has a few thousand miles on the clock it doesn’t mean it is likely to breakdown anytime soon. Additionally, if you’re planning on being away from home for a long period of time you don’t want to spend too much of that spending money on your method of transport.
You’re going to be clocking up a seriously large amount of miles if you’re going to be traveling the world by car, so you’ll need to choose a car with strong fuel efficiency to avoid hefty fuel bills.
The cheapest vehicles to run are electric (once you’ve paid the significantly higher initial price) although there will be few countries outside of the western world where you will be able to charge them.
The Telegraph’s list of the 10 most economical cars for 2013 includes the Renault Clio dCi 90 Eco, the Hyundai i20 1.1 CRDi Blue and the Kia Rio 1.1 CRDi, however it isn’t just smaller city cars that offer impressive fuel economy figures, with the Nissan Qashqai 4×4 averaging 62.8mpg
Comfort & Practicality
You’re going to be spending a lot of your time in the car you travel in – including maybe even living out of it occasionally – so comfort is another important factor for you to consider.
Suspension, the interior and refinement all affect the comfort of a vehicle, and the Which? Car Survey found that some of the vehicles that excel in this area include: the Citroe DS3 (supermini); Volvo C30 (medium car), the Skoda Superb (large car) and the Land Rover Range Rover (4×4/SUV).
As far as practicality is concerned that really depends on what you need. Smaller cars can offer greater fuel efficiency and are ideal for getting around towns and cities, but do not always offer the level of spaciousness that you require.
In an ideal world you’d be able to find a vehicle that embodied all of these qualities, however it may be that you need to priorities based on your own travel plans. Sticking mainly to major roads and towns and cities? Fuel efficiency should be at the top of your list. Looking to do some adventuring out of town? Durability, comfort and practicality should be your priorities.
Regardless, keep in mind these factors and you will help to ensure that your travels are the time, and ride, of your life.
This guest blog was written by John Rooney on behalf of Insure 4 a Day, providers of one month car insurance that is ideal for that driving holiday.