Are higher-spec cars better value?

You will often see in our news articles brief guides to prices for the cars in question. Generally the phrases ‘prices start from’ or ‘the xxx costs from’ are used on car websites in the UK.

This of course applies to the lowest specification model from a manufacturer and as a result will be the car with the least equipment and the smallest engine.

While this is often ideal for a car buyer – you just have to look at the number of car makers introducing new entry-level trims this year – others will want at least a few of the gadgets and gizmos which make life a little more comfortable.

While the likes of the entry-level Land Rover or Jaguar models will come with air conditioning, cruise control, a good sound system and often lashings of leather inside, very often volume car makers will forego these extras in the pursuit of a low starting price.

Statistics from car makers show best-selling cars, in particular in the small car and family car segment, are often middle-of-the-range models. Those cars which match a relatively low price with the right amount of equipment are generally favoured by the majority of new car buyers.

For example, the Ford Fiesta is one of the best value small cars on the market. The UK’s favourite car starts from just £9,500. This applies to the new entry-level Style specification.

However, for just a little bit more, Ford customers can get a host of handy equipment if they are clever about it.

Take a Ford Fiesta model currently being offered in the High Wycombe dealership. Fitted with a 1.25-litre petrol engine, the three-door Zetec model comes with electric windows, power steering and a heated windscreen as standard.

Body coloured bumpers, door handles and heated mirrors and a chrome grille gives the car a more stylish look and inside, equipment levels are generous.

A sound system can be operated via steering wheel controls and DAB radio, MP3 compatibility, four-speakers and Bluetooth is included as standard.

There is even some leather highlights to the gear knob and steering wheel and of course air conditioning to make those summer journeys a bit more comfortable.

All this comes in at £10,875 for a new Ford Fiesta Zetec. Alternatively, for £199 deposit and £199 per month as part of a finance deal, customers get three years free servicing, three year GAP cover and free paint protection.

Of course, not all deals are perfect for everybody, but it does highlight how the bottom line price is not always the best option for drivers who want a little extra with their new car.

It always helps to take a little extra time to research higher spec models – it can often lead to more equipment and luxury with only a small increase in price.