With every change in the composition of your family, there are fresh demands on the family car and you may very well need to make adjustments by going in for a new model to accommodate these changes. The wide assortment of vehicles that you can choose from, each with their unique features, can make it very difficult to make a considered choice of an ideal. Some tips that will bail you out:
Budget: The most important factor that comes into play when selecting a car is affordability. You should ideally allocate a budget that will allow your monthly payments to be comfortably within your budget. Typically lease payments tend to be lower than buying a car outright but then after three years you will have to return the car to the dealer and have nothing to show for all the payments that you made. The inconvenience and costs associated with early termination of car leases have been greatly removed with the emergence of online platforms that allow leaseholders to sell off their leases to folks that are looking out for economical deals.
You can also consider purchasing a pre-owned vehicle as the purchase costs can be quite attractive and you could drive away in a model that otherwise you would have never been able to consider. When you decide to buy a new car, you should also be prepared for the insurance costs as that can be quite steep too. Do not to get bogged down trying to chase a car that is outside your budget even if it is very attractive. Remember that the financial security of your family is far more important than your dream car and you should never get into a situation where the car is a drain on your family budget.
Safety: You cannot compromise with vehicular safety – your car carries the most precious cargo, your family. While all new cars need to comply with standard safety features, there are always a few models that stride ahead in this department. You can refer to the rating awarded by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for cars that have been rated as good in all the four categories that it test cars on. Among the safety features that you should be especially looking out for is a good performance in crash tests, side airbags, antilock brakes, traction and stability control, blind-spot notification systems, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning alerts, and vehicle frames that use high-strength steel.
Fuel Economy: The fuel efficiency of the family car is another aspect that may prove to be extremely important if you expect your car to clock up a lot of miles. The cost of gas being what it is, a car that guzzles fuel can easily prove to be a big financial strain that needs to be avoided. Luckily most manufacturers also have woken up to the importance of fuel efficiency and the new generation of vehicles deliver far better figures that before. Even if you are not keen on buying vehicles that run solely on batteries, you could do well by considering hybrid vehicles that use a combination of electric and gas, though these vehicles tend to be more expensive that normal gas-powered cars. There are also quite a few models that currently deliver in excess of 40 mpg so you can take your pick and save a whole lot of money during the period that you use the car.
Comfort and Convenience: The last thing you would want to hear from your family members that the car is not comfortable, especially if you have small children. Never make the mistake of buying a two-door car as getting in and out of the vehicle can be troublesome, especially if you need to install baby seats. Make sure that cabin and trunk space is sufficient for the needs of your family; accommodating strollers is a test that you should definitely conduct if you have infants in the family.
There is no end to the sort of convenience features that cars sport nowadays and what you get depends on the variant you choose. It is best to buy a no-frills model and buy exactly what you want from the after-market – you will get everything far cheaper. The styling of the car is important too as you need to really like and live with your choice. Buying a completely ugly car just because it’s practical is never a very good decision.
Author bio: James Edison is the sales manager of one of the busiest car dealerships on the West Coast. A prolific blogger, James writes on a number of issues regarding car selection, operation, and maintenance. Some of his articles may be read on leasequit.com.