What to consider when buying a car

posted in: Cars | 0

There is a great discrepancy between what we need and what we want in life. Some say we live a life of excess. Our homes are too big and are plates too full. Our garages are not immune to this.

There are more than few things to keep in mind when buying a car regardless of whether it is new or used that will respectively satisfy your needs and your wants.

What are you using it for?

You would think that this would rather be a no brainer, but how cliché is it to joke about Land Rovers trolling the parking lots of Malibu malls? Quite, really.

You have no need for a seven-seat SUV if all you are doing is carting groceries from Whole Foods once a week. If you have to ferry a junior soccer team six cities over for an atrocious 8 a.m. game in 40-degree temperatures. And it’s raining. You are quite justified for seven heated seats, and a coffee.

Compact SUVS like the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, and Mazda CX-5, are the mass-movers of America today. They have replaced the stodgy wagons that have all but disappeared from the roadways.

However, wagons are a great alternative for almost everyone who purchases a compact SUV. Volkswagen, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz offer wagons, the most financially accessible being from VW. If you have to haul supplies and enjoy a car-like ride and fuel economy, a wagon is a great option.

how cliche is it to joke about Land Rovers trolling the parking lots of Malibu malls?

If you are the noncommittal type, opening your mind to alternatives can only help for your search. There are more options out there than you can imagine.


Efficiency means more than fuel economy. Efficiency, in the automotive world, means how well it performs its job. It’s hard to argue, but if you have children, a minivan is impossible to eliminate from your search. There is nothing more versatile or efficient at hauling children than a minivan. The new Honda Odyssey has the option of a vacuum cleaner stowed in the back for cleaning up common childhood messes.

2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite
2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite

If you are a construction worker or farmer, a half-ton pickup truck is your lifelong steed. A city dweller needs a city car like a Fiat 500 or Chevrolet Sonic. When thinking of buying a car, think about how you are going to use it and pick one that makes your job easier. A Ferrari FF may look cool and be billed as “practical,” but it won’t haul your surfboards.

Amenities and Features

Do you really need seventeen-cup holders? Common wisdom may say yes, but in reality no, no you don’t. Cars are offered with a laundry list of options and amenities that not only add cost, but complexity to the vehicle. Remember that the more complicated a car is, the more expensive it will be to repair.

A convertible in Detroit is nowhere near as practical as a convertible in Miami. Seat warmers in Texas are almost an oxymoron. Pick out options and amenities that you truly want. Anything extra can get in the way of your enjoyment of the car. When you whittle down to what you really need, you have a car that you want and are proud to own.


The ultimate factor to many car-buying purchases is cost. It’s the green elephant in the room, sadly. The goal when buying a car is to find the balance between purposes, efficiency, and amenities that create a vehicular package that you can enjoy.

When looking remember that there is a plethora of options available to you, and that there could be something that fits your needs perfectly that you would have never even considered before.

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