I've just been given a promotion at work, which is obviously nice, but it's put me in a situation I'm not great at and would appreciate some advice. I'll need to drive every day now as opposed to getting the train, so need to buy or lease a second car. I can't get one via work as my MD already agreed to give me more money than my predecessor because I dug my heels in. I assume that would kill me on tax anyway? (I'm repeating shit I hear other people say there - I'm pretty useless at tracking financial stuff tbh.
So my questions are twofold.
1) Lease or buy? I understand that if I lease then I have to deal with less upkeep, but I don't really want to waste money on something I don't own. But I realise that may be an old-fashioned attitude.
2) What car type should I get? I'm not a ponce and don't want something super fancy, but we do have 2 kids and could do with a bigger car. I'm keen on MPG and reliability, and although I drive a lot of hire cars for work, I have no real knowledge of their price. I know that the fancy Mercedes saloon I had last week will cost more than the VW golf a week before, but truth be told I don't really care as long as it's nice to drive. I had a nice Volvo a few months ago, but can't remember the model.
I don't mind if it's new or second-hand and will probably base my decision entirely on resale value if I buy. I walked past some BMW place the other day that had stickers on the cars claiming that they would "still be worth" £9k or something after purchase. These were £22k cars, and I know depreciation is crazy on cars, but it seemed a reasonable deal.
I've got maybe a month to play with. Work has got a hire care for the next few weeks, and there's a pool car I can use if really needed after that, but I'd rather get it done. I really don't want to make a cock of myself in the sales place. I can't pay cash upfront for it because all my savings are currently being screwed on a kitchen, so will need to pay monthly. I know this will rip me off and accept that. I don't really want to pay more than £400pm, but f*ck knows what I'm in for. With all our crap and 2 kids maybe I need an SUV, but I don't like them. How do PnBers find this stuff out?