Buying a new car is a pretty big purchase, so it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for in terms of safety, functionality, efficiency, and comfort. There’s a lot to consider here, especially if you’re shopping around for newer models, which are packed with way more features than you probably know what to do with. Here are a few features that you’ll get the most mileage out of – hopefully, this will help you chose the perfect new car for you and your family!
1. Make a Wants-Versus-Needs Checklist
Before you think about the boring features like fuel efficiency and pricing, take a moment and dream a little! Jot down some notes regarding your perfect car. What features does it have? Which ones would you and your family use most often? Can you do without some features?
See if you can find a promising car at a dealership nearby. This will give you the chance to inspect it in person. During the test drive, look over your checklist. Here are a few things to consider:
- Is it spacious enough? Think about some of the hobbies you and your family have. Can the vehicle comfortably hold all of the equipment you need? Maybe you and your family are pretty heavy packers – make sure the new car can fit everyone and their luggage comfortably during vacations and road trips.
- Is the technology necessary? New cars have some really impressive technology, but you might not need a lot of it. Bluetooth connectivity along with AUX and USB ports are useful, and it’s always nice to have safety features like back-up cameras and collision detection. Other features, like teen monitoring or highly advanced speakers, might not be necessary for every family. Make sure you’re only paying for features that you’ll use.
- Is it comfortable? You’re going to spend a lot of time in your vehicle, so make sure the driver’s seat has an adjustable height with lumbar support. Many newer cars have power chairs, which give you a greater ability to fine-tune your chair position than manual chairs. Having a heated steering wheel and seat is a nice too if you live in a colder area. Also, give the back seats a try. Will they fit your family comfortably? Are there nice conveniences back there like cup-holders and AC vents?
2. Compare Efficiency, Safety, and Pricing
Now that you’ve figured out the type of vehicle you want, you can start narrowing down your list by fuel efficiency, safety, and pricing. As a rule of thumb, newer cars are going to have better fuel efficiency than older ones. You’ll be emptying and filling the tank for years, so finding an efficient vehicle can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Safety is especially important if this is a vehicle that your family will use. Newer cars have incredibly sophisticated safety features like blind-spot detectors, collision warnings, back-up cameras, automatic braking, and plenty more. Though they certainly add to the expense of the vehicle, they can reduce the risk that you or your family will get into an accident, which is money well spent.
When it comes to pricing, things get pretty subjective. To get a better idea about how much you should spend, it might help to track down the most affordable car that gives you what you want and need. After that, look for cars that are a bit less and a bit more expensive. See what all of them offer regarding fuel efficiency, safety, spaciousness, and any other factors that are important to you. Is the price justified on the higher end vehicle? Can you get everything you want and need in the lower end vehicle? Or is the moderately priced on the best of both worlds? This should help reduce your decision anxiety!