Whether you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, minimise your fuel expenses or simply fit into smaller parking spaces, there are plenty of benefits to downsizing your car. Of course, there’s plenty to choose from which means it’s important to approach the downsizing process logically and systematically.

Ready to get stuck in? If you’re thinking of switching to a smaller vehicle, read on for our guide on how to downsize your car.

1. Analyse your needs

If you’re thinking about downsizing, you’ve probably already realised your vehicle is too big for your needs. The next step is to figure out how much smaller you need to go. Spend a good few hours thinking about the different ways you use your car and what your priorities are.

Do you want a smaller car that is still large enough to carry all your camping gear? Do you really need seven seats or could you get away with a regular five seat vehicle? Maybe you prioritise boot space over legroom? This step is all about developing an idea of what you’re looking for in a car.

2. Consider weight and engine performance

As well as physical characteristics, it’s worth considering your needs in terms of engine size and performance. Sometimes, downsizing can mean switching to a similar car with a less powerful engine. This type of downsizing can still be a great way to minimise your emissions and fuel consumption. Reducing the total weight of your car can also be an efficient way to downsize, without losing too much physical space.

For example, a heavy-duty Range Rover Sport has a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of 3100kg while the similarly sized Volvo XC90 hovers more around the 2000kg mark. In terms of space, the Range Rover Sport and Volvo XC90 offer a generous 784 litres and 775 litres respectively.

3. Calculate your budget

When you have a good idea of what you’re looking for in a new car, the next step is to calculate your budget. Factor in variables like your initial deposit and how much you want to spend overall. If you’re buying new, be sure to factor in any extras you may want to add on as these can stack up fast. This includes features like smartphone media systems, roof racks, heated seats and extended warranties. Don’t forget, there are also a few things to avoid like rust proofing, tinted windows and chrome trims. 

When you’re ready to determine your budget, our car finance calculator is a great place to start – simply punch in your preferred loan amount, repayment terms and credit rating. It will then calculate the typical rate you can expect, as well as the total cost of your loan. This way you can advance to step 4 with a good idea of how far your budget will stretch.

4. Browse the market

With the number crunching behind you, now is the time to get stuck into browsing the market for your new car. Google is a goldmine when it comes to reviews, with many websites going into a huge amount of detail. There are also plenty of great websites that allow you to compare the performance, fuel economy and features of several different models simultaneously. Test drives are essential and will give you a good idea of how a car feels behind the wheel.

On the hunt for a used vehicle? Our clever My Car Search feature uses simple criteria to find your ideal used vehicle. All dealers are regularly vetted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), making My Car Credit one of Britain’s safest online platforms for purchasing used vehicles. Buying a used car can unlock enormous savings, especially if you’re looking to purchase a model that’s only a year or two old.

5. Find a good lender

You’ve homed in on the perfect car, now to find the perfect lender. At My Car Credit, we specialise in unlocking the best finance rates for everyone, whether you’re shopping for a nearly new Nissan Qashqai or a used Volkswagen Golf. We partner with an extensive network of partners across the UK to find competitive finance plans that work for you. Using your credit rating, we’ll unlock the best car finance deals in Britain.

Not confident in your credit score? We pride ourselves on finding solutions for every motorist, regardless of how high or low their credit score. Reach out to one of our friendly customer service agents today to find out more and kickstart your downsizing journey. 

Rates from 9.9% APR. Representative APR 12.4%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

My Credit Rating


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  • You are on the electoral role
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X monthly repayments of

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable




*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score*

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 12.4%, annual interest rate (fixed) 12.36%, 47 monthly payments of £196.44 followed by 1 payment of £206.44 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £1,939.12, total amount payable is £9,439.12.

Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

Please ensure you can afford the repayments for the duration of the loan before entering into a credit agreement.

*Initial application is a soft search. Should you progress, some lenders may perform a hard search on your credit file.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!