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5 tips for choosing a car trim level that's worth your money, according to a dealer

First, sort out your needs from your wants, says Brendan Keary of Kearys Hyundai.

Image: Kearys Hyundai

FINDING THE RIGHT car for your needs, lifestyle and budget can be a tricky process.

We want to help streamline the search. As part of our Insights series, every week we’ll take a different car-buying question to the experts at the heart of the motor industry.

If you’re shopping around for a new car right now, you’ll know that going up a trim level or two can add thousands of euro onto your base price. Sometimes it’s avoidable, sometimes it’s not – particularly if you have specific design or safety feature on your must-have list.

So how can you pick a trim level that’ll give you value for money, as well as all the features you’re looking for in your new car? We asked Brendan Keary, Director at Kearys Hyundai, for his advice…

1. You probably don’t need the full leather seats

The three magic words when picking a trim level are needs, wants and desires. Yes, you need aircon, you probably want sat nav and Bluetooth, but full leather seats and alloy wheels are more of a desire.

Once you have your needs separated from your wants and desires, you’ll be better placed to choose a trim level that’s going to give you value for money.

2. Not all base level trims are created equal

30726897_984408108389901_202964263029964800_o Source: Kearys Hyundai

Don’t assume you need to go up a trim level straight away. On a higher-specced car, like the Hyundai Tucson, even the base level in our showroom includes aircon, Bluetooth, and cruise control.

Additionally, if you’re buying a second family car or a car for a young driver, opting for a basic model will probably suit you better.

3. Go up a trim level to boost your resale value…

If you have plans to sell your car on in a few years, going up a trim level or two can be a financially smart move. With the Tucson for example, 85 per cent of people will go for the executive trim level, so if you opt for that when buying new, you can be confident it’ll hold its value for when you’re selling on. You’ll get back a large chunk of what you spend now when you sell it on.

4. …But don’t go too far up the ladder just yet

shutterstock_613907405 Source: Shutterstock/charnsitr

If you have resale value in your head when you’re buying new, be smart and stick to the mid-level trims. Yes, you can pay €5,000 extra for the top level trim and be very happy with your car, but you won’t get that value back when you send it on. Extras like panoramic sun roofs won’t equate to money back when it’s time to sell your car on.

5. Do your research first

Often there will be five or six trim levels to choose from for every car model out there, so do your research. In my experience, car buyers these days will have done hours of research online before even visiting a dealer, but while they may have a model in mind, they may not have selected a trim level yet.

Most manufacturers will push out the base price level in their advertising, so be sure to check what you’re getting for that price before picking your model of choice.

More: 7 essential tips for maximising your car’s resale value, according to a dealer>

More: Considering going electric? 6 common EV questions tackled by a motor expert>

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