Finding the right type of car to suit you

One of the most daunting aspects of buying a new car can be making sure you get the right one that ticks all of your boxes. There are various types of cars on the road and they are all built with different purposes in mind. We have taken a look at each of the different types of car to help you decide what might be the best option for you.


City Car

These are the smallest type of car on the market and they do exactly what they say on the tin. They are small by design, to handle the hustle of bustle of city roads.

City-Cars are built with efficiency in mind and being such small vehicles, they are simple to manoeuvre and can be parked with ease, even in the tightest of spaces. 

The running costs of a City-Car are also low, especially if you are only using it to drive around town, which is where they are at their best.

Cheap to run and fun to drive, it is no wonder they are so popular, with the Smart Fortwo, Peugeot 108 or the Citroen C1 among some of the more well-known City-Cars. 

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The type of car that perhaps most are familiar with. Depending on the size of the vehicle, they can also be described as Superminis or Family Hatchbacks.

The name comes from the rear of the car, where the boot lid and rear window open together as one in an upwards hatch-like motion. Compared to say, a Saloon – which we’ll come on to later – which has a separate boot space that opens away from the rear window. 

Hatchbacks are fuel efficient motors, have competitive running costs and are widely considered as cheap to run in general. They are also comfortable to drive and can be extremely practical, resulting in a pleasant all-round driving experience. 

As one of the more popular and practical styles on the road, there is plenty of choice too. Memorable hatchback cars include the Vauxhall Corsa, Ford Fiesta, SEAT Leon and the Volkswagen Golf.

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Much like the City-Cars, MPVs do exactly what they say on the tin. They are multi-purpose vehicles and make for a great option for family life.

They will typically house at least five seats, but traditionally have seven and offer copious amounts of boot space. They offer flexible seating configuration too, so after some manoeuvring you have huge potential to carry large items inside an MPV.

The Volkswagen Touran, Ford Galaxy and the Vauxhall Combo Life are among some of the more popular MPV cars on the road and they all make for great family cars.

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Known for their long and sleek design, Saloon cars are an increasingly popular choice for motorists who are looking to make a step up from a hatchback. As mentioned above, the boot is a separate entity on a Saloon. However, they can in some models offer foldable rear seating arrangements that make up for any concerns you might have about limited boot space.

Practicality may not rank as the biggest focus for a Saloon, but you won’t be missing out any comfort or performance in cars that typically offer well-rounded driving experience. 

Popular Saloon models include the Mercedes-Benz C Class, BMW 3 Series and the Volvo S60.

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Estate cars combine the practicality of a hatchback with the body of a Saloon car. How they differ is their longer bodywork, which typically extends far deeper beyond the rear wheel arches. They are among the most popular styles for family cars, with a big boot opening and plenty of room on offer for rear passengers. 

Whether you’re looking to tackle those long motorway journeys on your next family holiday or a vehicle that can make the school run a doddle, Estate cars are great to drive and should tick all the boxes for a busy family.

The Volkswagen T-Cross, Skoda Octavia and Mercedes-Benz GLB are all popular choices in the Estate range.

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For those dreaming of a late summer drive with the roof down, a convertible is what you’re after. They are a car that has a folding roof that can either be removed fully or at least partially.

You may have heard these referred to as Cabriolets or Roadsters too, but there are some minor differences between the three.

Cabriolet is seen as an alternative to Convertible, while Roadsters are traditionally high performance sports model with just two seats. The term is generally seen as an interchangeable one that comes down largely to manufacturer preference. 

These days, the open top cars can come in all different shapes and sizes. Due to their sporty nature, running costs may be slightly higher than other models. But for many, the opportunity to buy a convertible is always something for the bucket list. 

Some of the popular Convertible cars you might have seen around include the Porsche 911, Jaguar F-Type and the BMW Z4.

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The name Coupe originates from France and loosely translates to ‘cut’. Referring to the lack of passenger seats and sloping rear body.

Traditionally, they will only have two doors, but there has been an increasing number of four-door Coupes on the market.

Coupes have often been considered among the coolest cars on the road thanks to their combination of a stylish design and impressive performance. They have often stood out for their good looks rather than their practicality, with small boot openings and limited interior space.

Popular Coupe cars include the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Coupe, the Porsche Cayman and the Nissan GT-R.

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An SUV, or Sports Utility Vehicle, draws many similarities to an MPV but comes with a sportier focus and improved handling when it comes to awkward and uneven road conditions.

Similarly to an MPV, they are incredibly practical and their rugged design plays into their all-action capabilities.

They offer a high driving position, great interior space and their comfortable and refined design make them a great family car that still offers a memorable driving experience.

SUV cars are an increasingly popular choice for drivers as not only are they fun to drive, but they can manage the rising demands of everyday life.

The Jeep Renegade, Ford Kuga and the Nissan Qashqai are among some of the more popular options in the SUV range. 

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Looking to find your next car? Use our search tools to find the perfect model for you on our personal lease and business lease deals. 

Ryan Darby

Ryan Darby

Ryan takes the lead on all things 'wordy'. With a sports media background, a true passion for cars, and a LOT of driving experience under his belt, he'll make sure you have all the information you need, when you need it.