Spring on the Road

  • img1

Factors to consider when looking for a new car

Spring is a season of rebirth, and this rejuvenating time of year can be a great time for motorists to reexamine their vehicles and start looking for new rides. With spring road trips and summer vacations on the not-too-distant horizon, drivers who have been eyeing a new vehicle may feel the time has never been more right to sell or trade-in their current vehicles for ones more suited to their current needs.

Once drivers have made the decision to get a new car, they must then decide which car is right for them. Such a decision not only requires a careful consideration of budget, but also a thorough examination of what you want out of your next vehicle. The following are some factors prospective car buyers may want to consider as they begin to look for new cars.

Passengers

Parents who drive have different needs than drivers who don't have children. When shopping around for your next vehicle, consider how many passengers you typically have in the car. Parents who drive the kids to and from a full slate of extracurricular activities may not only want a car with enough room to accommodate their brood, but also one that's fuel-efficient so all those trips to the soccer fields and dance recitals won't break the bank. Singles who don't often have passengers and don't have a driveway or assigned parking space may benefit from a small vehicle that's fuel-efficient and easy to park. Whatever your needs, try to avoid buying more or less car than you really need.

Driving habits

Your personal driving habits are another factor to consider before buying your next car. When driving, are you traversing the nation's highways or sticking mainly to city streets? Stop-and-go city driving can be taxing on vehicles, and drivers may find manual transmissions are less enjoyable in city traffic. Drivers whose daily commutes are mainly done on highways may be able to live with a car deemed less fuel-efficient, as highway driving tends to consume less fuel than city driving.

Local climate

Drivers should consider their local climate as they try to decide what their next vehicle will be. If you live in a region where ice and snow is common, then four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive is a feature that will likely prove worth the investment if not a necessity, while drivers who live in warm areas where the temperatures remain mild year-round can likely skip the four-wheel drive option. When buying a new car, envision the weather that car will eventually encounter. A flashy sports car may be fun to drive and surely looks great in the garage, but if safety concerns force you to leave it in the garage for several months a year, then it might not be the best car for you.

What else is in the driveway?

Parents or couples buying a new car together should consider what their significant other has sitting in the driveway. If one parent already has an SUV or minivan, then a second such vehicle may not be necessary, and buying a new car may be an opportunity to purchase a smaller vehicle that still fits the whole family but won't need to carry athletic equipment or chauffeur the middle school basketball team. The same principle can be applied to couples without children. Such couples may want to keep one sports car in the driveway and have a more practical vehicle that can better handle road trips or weekend getaways.

Buying a new car is a fun process that's made even more fun when drivers consider their needs and target vehicles that best meet those needs.