Buying a car, other than buying a house, is often the single most expensive purchase a person can make in their life. How do you choose that car?
A car, SUV, truck, or minivan needs to basically do one thing: get you and your family from point A to point B. What kind of car can do this most efficiently for you?
First of all, do you want a car? A minivan? An SUV? You need to consider what you will be using the vehicle for. Just because you have two or three kids to taxi around does not always mean you need a minivan. There are many larger sedan style cars, as well as station wagon-style cars, that car manufacturers are gearing towards the family on the go. Smaller minivans can also work well for many families while being more fuel-efficient in these days of rising gas and energy prices.
A Sports Utility Vehicle is a fun choice, and great for those who like to camp and go offroading. Judging from the number of SUVs sold in North America, that seems like pretty much a third of the population. SUVs may not be the best choice for many who don’t often camp or need an SUV because they are big and use a lot of gas.
A pickup truck with a crew cab can be a good choice for the driver who needs both the ability to haul loads and take their kids to hockey practice.
Do you want a hybrid car?
Hybrid cars are the newest form of cars designed to be fuel-efficient. They have two motors, one gas and one electric. During braking, the electric motor generates electricity, which is stored and used to run the car’s lights, etc. This can save gas, but not necessarily so much that you save enough money in gas to make up for the higher price of the car. But for the environmentally conscious, the commuter who has to drive a lot or far distances, or those who just like the look of the car, a hybrid car can be great. The Toyota Prius, for example, can get up to 60 miles to the gallon. This can work out to savings in the long run, depending on how long you keep the car.
Electric cars run off of fuel cells and are thus more environmentally friendly than gas-powered cars – no air pollution. These cars may not be the best choice for everyone. If you decide you want an electric car, be sure and research the individual model you want. Another important decision which you will need to make is whether to buy a new or used car. This is a personal decision, based on a variety of factors, including comfort, financing, trade-ins, and price.