When shopping for a vehicle, you want to be sure you end up with something you’ll be happy with, whether it’s a car, a truck, or an SUV. Here are some things to think about when starting your search.
Shopping for a vehicle
How many people will you be driving around?
Sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s something worth thinking about. Do you have a growing family? Is this a vehicle that will only drive around one or two people?
Internal space and leg room
You definitely want to be comfortable, but consider your passengers too. Maybe you’ll be driving your work carpool or you have kids with growing legs.
What will you take along most days? Whether it’s soccer gear or musical instruments, you want to be sure you have an appropriate cargo area to get it there.
Will you be driving this vehicle where it’s really hot? Might want air conditioning. Really cold? Might need to verify the vehicle can be equipped with appropriate warmers and plug-ins.
No matter who you’re driving around, you definitely want to check out a vehicle’s safety ratings. Cars.com is a great resource for finding and comparing safety and comfort information.
What personal devices are you planning to take along? See if everything will work together to avoid unexpected expenses.
Depending on what you’re choosing your new vehicle for, this could have a pretty big range. If you’re looking at a commuter vehicle, you’ll probably want something that gets great mileage. If you’re looking for a vehicle to tow a trailer, this may or may not be as high on your list.
Will you be driving off road or on perfectly paved streets? For how long? Consider the suspension, seat comfort, and even the size of the gas tank.
Back seat comfort
There are a few things to consider in the back seat besides space as listed above. In some vehicles, the middle back seat is raised, which some people find really uncomfortable. Also, a raised seat can make some child car seats bounce around.
Are there vents in the backseat? Sounds silly but if you’re prone to getting carsick, air flow can be a really big deal.
Getting in and out
Yes, getting in and out of your vehicle matters. If you’ve ever tried to get in a vehicle that just feels really awkward to you, it wouldn’t hurt to think twice. Sometimes we just need to get used to something new, but other times it might be good to look for a vehicle that’s a better ergonomic fit for you. Consider how high or low the seat is, whether there’s a bar to grab on to, or a step bar for taller vehicles. This can be especially important if you or someone you’ll be driving around is older or has physical limitations that will make it harder for them.
Think about what kind of clothes you wear a lot. It might not matter a lot, but if you’re a woman who loves pencil skirts, it could make a difference.
Will you be the only one driving the vehicle? Consider whether driver seat position memory might be for you.
Hold out for what you really want!
Do some research ahead of time so you know which things are most important to you. Buying a new car is such an exciting time and you definitely want to be thrilled with your purchase.