I have recently been asked to help someone pick out a new car to buy and when I questioned my friend about their needs, they realized how complex their options are and they learned a little about how to choose a car for themselves. I figured I would share these insights with everyone since I do not think too many people consider things beyond price and looks when looking to buy a car.
One thing to consider when looking to buy a car is where you will most often be driving too. If you drive to and from the office and the mall most often, then a typical sedan, or sedan-like ride will be enough for your needs. However, if you are driving to and from a construction site, or go outdoors and off-road often, then a 4-wheel drive, off-road capable vehicle might be something you will want to buy.
Passengers and Cargo
Do you often find yourself driving all your friends around or do you have a big family or a lot of gear to haul? If so, you may want to look into buying a larger vehicle that has a lot of passenger room and cargo space. Some large sedans may suffice for just driving a lot of passengers around with some small gear. Larger SUVs or pickups may be necessary if you plan on carrying more than 5 passengers or towing large equipment. I
If you are more concerned with safety, then look into vehicles that have an excellent IIHS rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates vehicles based on how well they perform in certain crash tests. Look for vehicles that meet their Top Safety Pick category. Also look for vehicles with added safety features like numerous airbags, collision detection, automatic high beam lights, rear view cameras, and more. Some vehicles will come with a concierge service that will notify emergency services if the vehicle crashes or the airbags are deployed.
If you find yourself on the road often and you are looking to save money on gas, then Hybrids, Plug-ins and other fuel efficient vehicles may be worth looking into. There are many things you should know though, for instance, some vehicles are designed to be most fuel efficient when driven under or over a certain amount of miles. If you do not meet the criteria, then you may not save much in fuel costs at all. Also, some of these fuel efficient cars come at a higher cost than their standard counterparts, and you may not recoup these costs for years to come.
If you like driving newer vehicles, or believe your lifestyle may change and you may need to trade-in or sell your car, then consider buying a car with a good resale value. A good resale value will ensure you get a great selling price for your car when it comes time to change vehicles. There are many things that affect resale value though, like make and model of the vehicle, color, and options.
Options and amenities on any vehicle can add a lot of cost to the sticker price so it is important to really consider what you need. Is a sport package really necessary if you do not drive or corner fast or go off-road? Will you even use heated seats? Extra horsepower will really bump up the cost in your vehicle so consider whether you really need the power.