Maybe you’ve just reached the age where you can get licensed to drive, and hit the open roads. Or, maybe you’ve been living in the city for most of your life, and have never felt it was necessary to drive, but are now moving out to the countryside and are weighing up your options.

There are all kinds of different vehicles you could drive, ranging from environmentally friendly mini hybrids and electric cars, to enormous four-wheel drives, and “born to be wild” Harley-Davidson motorbikes.

With all the options available, it might be difficult to figure out just what vehicle you should get, for your needs.

Here are a few questions to help you pick out the right one.

Are you primarily after a “feeling” or a “function?”

Obviously, the first question to ask when you’re going to buy a vehicle, is “what do you want or need it for?”

If you live in an area with good public transport links, and don’t need to commute every day, it might be that your vehicle of choice would mostly be used for weekend trips, and pleasure riding when the weather is worth it.

In these cases, you might want to get a motorcycle – and maybe even customise your KTM motorcycles in order to get the most “bang for your buck” in terms of the good vibes you feel on the road.

Then again, if you’ve got a big family, and are going to need to ferry kids back and forth, a people carrier would be the logical choice. And if you’re out in the countryside, miles from civilization, you might want something other than a new Tesla.

Some vehicles are sought after because of the “feeling” you get from riding them. Others are purely functional. Try and judge accurately what it is you’re after.

Will the vehicle serve your needs not just right now, but also over the next few years?

Buying a new motor vehicle is typically a pretty expensive undertaking – which means that it would be good if your vehicle was able to serve you not just today, but over the next few years, too.

You should always consider, when shopping for a vehicle, how your circumstances are likely to develop in the near to mid future, and plan accordingly. If you’re planning to start a family, for example, maybe a two seater sports car isn’t the best bet right now.

How reliably and practically will you actually be able to drive the vehicle around?

You sometimes see people driving around in luxury sports cars, and painstakingly restored automobiles from the early half of the last century, and break out in a cold sweat thinking about how much work it must be to maintain.

The problem with fancy vehicles, is that they are not necessarily going to be practical for everyday use. Partly, this is because high-end vehicles are more tempting for thieves, and partly because you’ll have good reason to be hyper-paranoid about any damage they may take, from nature or man.

Assess your current circumstances, and try to figure out how reliably and practically you’ll actually be able to drive your vehicle around. If you need to be able to comfortably park in extremely cramped indoor parking for work every day, you might have a problem with that Humvee you’ve been eyeing up.