Australians like to feel “indulgent and successful” when buying a new car, while some love the new car smell, a recent survey says.

The research conducted by online car purchasing service, Autogenie, asked 450 Australians what they liked most when purchasing a new car.

Autogenie General Manager Colette Grgic says there are many things people love about buying a new car, and not all of them practical.

“About half the respondents gave very pragmatic answers, but the other half were compelled by less tangible qualities, like the way it made them feel,” she says.

Almost one third of answers given stated reliability as the best thing about a new car, slightly ahead was the feeling of being indulgent and successful.

Brisbane Manly resident Annie Castillo had a practical response saying “Driving a new car gives me confidence because I know it won’t give me problems. It is safe to drive and economical in petrol.”

For 36 respondents the new car smell was top of their list, while 27 were most excited by the thrill of the hunt for their new car.

“One of the recurring, and more curious, things we’ve noticed when talking with our customers is the sheer number of Australians who really love the smell of a new car…we weren’t surprised to find so many respondents selecting this as their favourite thing.

“We expected the more practical elements like peace of mind, safety and the fact that they can get exactly what they want, to be overwhelming favourites,” Ms Grgic says.

One Gold Coast motorist, Andrew Balfour listed showing off his wheels to family and friends as the best thing about buying a new car.

Ms Grgic says there was no surprise people loved getting behind the wheel of a shiny new car with pride, with Australians expressing a strong sense of reward, achievement and prestige when owning a new car.