Buying a new car can be overwhelming. With so many styles and options, it’s often difficult to narrow down the type of vehicle that best suits your car lifestyle. However, there are a few things you should know before you head out car shopping. So, here’s a list of considerations to take into account before your next purchase:
It may go without saying, but the first thing you’ll need to consider is the amount of money you have to spend. Coming up with a maximum price will help narrow your choices quickly.
As a general rule of thumb when it comes to financing your vehicle, figure you’ll pay $20–$25 per month for every $1,000 borrowed.
When buying a family car, you’ll want to consider not only how many people need to be transported, but also their comfort and the ease in which they can also use the vehicle. For instance, 4-door cars fit small families well because they provide enough space in back but are still small and maneuverable. Larger families may want to consider a minivan that features sliding doors and multiple rows of seating. You may also want to think about the benefit of entertainment add-ons, such as a DVD player, if you frequently take family road trips.
Safety should be another factor toward the top of your list. When selecting a “safe” car, you’ll want to consider things like airbag placement, crash test ratings and handling options, like traction control and ABS braking. This is especially important if you have a teenager who will soon be getting behind the wheel.
The Fun Factor
If your goal is to buy a vehicle primarily for yourself, you have the option to add some excitement to your ride. Convertibles offer open-air fun, while sports cars provide enough muscle and handling to keep you on your toes. There’s also the option for off-road vehicles, SUVs that can carry sporting equipment with ease and even hot hatchbacks for the active, yet performance-minded buyer.
Your job may also play an important role in your vehicle choice. If you work in a field that requires transporting large materials, you may want to consider a van or pickup truck. Long commutes, on the other hand, are best served by hybrids and fuel economy-geared vehicles. If you work out of your car and need space to make phone calls and sift through paperwork, perhaps a sedan is best for you.
While things like performance, amenities, cargo room and work space may be considerations for some, the environment may be another factor that’s important to you. Hybrid cars have lower emissions and get better mileage, which reduces fuel consumption, but electric cars are another popular option for buyers with green lifestyles.
Making a selection that best fits your car lifestyle can seem like a lot to think about, but with careful consideration, you can easily narrow down the type of vehicle that best fits your needs.
Check out all the maintenance parts available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on selecting a vehicle that best fits your lifestyle, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
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Erich Reichert has been an editor and on-air personality in the radio control car hobby for 12 years. A certified car nut since birth, he has written for internationally published titles such as RC Car Action, RC Driver and Xtreme RC Cars, as well as Stuff Magazine, Road and Track and Super Street. He's covered everything from product reviews and tech articles to high-profile lifestyle pieces and celebrity interviews. Erich found his passion for writing after a successful career as an art director, working with brands such as Pepsico, NASCAR, MTV, Nintendo, WWE, Cannondale Bicycles and HBO. He's also a father, an avid hockey fan and an FIA race license holder who enjoys hiking, playing drums and movies.