Whether you’re in the market for a used or a brand-new car, shopping for a vehicle can be overwhelming and stressful. There are new features introduced every year, but some are flashier than useful. Before you take out an auto loan, find out which features to look for and get the right car for you.
This should always be the top priority. Make sure that the vehicle has seat belts in front and in the back, especially if you have kids. Vintage cars typically don’t have seat belts, but it can be outfitted later on. You should also make sure that the vehicle has airbags, and if it does, check if it’s part of the Takata recall.
If you’re buying a second-hand car, check if it has automatic emergency braking. It can prevent crashes by automatically stopping the car when it senses an object in front of it.
This is important because it can’t be installed as an addition. It’s a more common feature among new car models. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that it will be standard by 2022. But it is important to note that drivers have complained of false activation of the system. Data from NHTSA shows that the phantom brakes have caused 14 crashes.
When it comes to cars, expenses only start at the dealership. Once you’ve bought your vehicle, you’ll spend money on gas and maintenance. This is why it’s important to choose a car that’s fuel-efficient. The Department of Energy has a site where you can browse cars based on their gas mileage. The higher the MPG figure is, the more fuel-efficient the car is.
An alternative worth considering is an electric vehicle. It’s typically more expensive than a gas-powered car. But in the long run, you end up saving money because running an electric vehicle is cheaper. If you get a new one, you can get federal tax credits. You can also own one at a lower price by buying a used vehicle.
There are concerns whether an electric car can reach its destination before running out of battery. But if your primary use for your car is to drive to work or the store that’s only miles away, it should be fine. Plus, states such as Utah and New York are aiming to add charging stations.
If you have trouble parking inside the lines, a car with a camera system is your best bet. Some even have surround view so that you can see if there are any objects around before you park or start the vehicle. It can prevent mishaps and help the safety of those on the road.
For those living in the colder parts of the country, look for a car with heated seats. It’s especially useful if you like to go on long drives with the whole family.
While shopping for a car, make sure to focus on purpose over flash. Several vehicles boast impressive features that add thousands to the price tag. Some of which you can replicate with a cheap accessory while others you don’t really need.