Travel Ready: Some Things to Consider When Buying an Automobile

Choosing a new car is an exciting but potentially stressful endeavor. With so many options, plus some limiting factors such as budget and availability, it can be hard to know where to begin. Here are some of the top factors to consider when you’re ready to purchase your next vehicle.

Safety features and ratings: If you are shopping for a family car or a vehicle your teen may drive, safety is going to be a top priority. With modern vehicles, there are a ton of options out there for advanced safety features like collision sensors, camera and GPS systems, and blind-spot detection. In addition, you probably want to check out crash tests and other consumer reports to find out how certain vehicles behave in an accident or in difficult weather.

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Comfort: If you’re someone who does a lot of driving, comfort is more than just a “nice to have” consideration, it’s a necessity. You may want heated seats, easy access to compartments, sophisticated temperature control options, a nice stereo, and other convenient features.

Price: It’s important to know your budget and price range before you seriously start looking for a new vehicle. In addition to the base price of the car, you’ll also want to take into account the monthly car payments, insurance, maintenance and repair costs, registration, and the cost of picking up or transporting the vehicle (if applicable).

Maintenance: Once you have a list of possible makes and models that meet your criteria, do some research into the maintenance costs and requirements for each type of vehicle you’re interested in. It’s also a good idea to read consumer reviews to find out how well each model performs long-term.
Environmental Impact: If your carbon footprint is important to you, you may want to look into purchasing an electric or hybrid vehicle.

Age: Decide whether you would like to purchase a new car or shop used. Price often steers consumers towards used cars, but there are pros and cons to both options.

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Amenities: Today’s automobiles can be upgraded to include all kinds of perks that can make driving more fun and sometimes even safer. Maybe you’ve always wanted a sunroof or, if you live in a colder climate, a remote starter. What about satellite radio or backseat screens to keep passengers happy on long rides?

Size: You probably have a minimum number of seats in mind for your new vehicle, but size considerations shouldn’t stop there. Be sure to factor in your lifestyle, which might mean making room for camping gear, hauling furniture, the family dog, your children and their friends, among other things.

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Efficiency: If you’re someone who drives long distances, fuel efficiency is probably pretty important to you. Go to to find out about any make and model on your list.

Test Drive: Once you have narrowed it down to one or more vehicles that make sense for you, it’s all going to depend on how it really feels when you take that car for a spin. Spend some time with the vehicle, ask a lot of questions, and make sure it feels right.

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