How to Buy a Car for Your Stage of Life
Each stage of life carries different challenges along with it. From the teenage years to retirement, no two stages offer exactly the same difficulties. This life rule applies to our challenges, but it carries with it exciting things as well. As a driver, your needs change, and that means your cars will have to evolve as well. The car you drive as a teenager will vary from the car you drive as an adult.
Consider the following before you purchase a car during each stage of life.
The Teen Years
When you turn 16, you might have your ideal car’s perfect design burning brightly in your mind. But before you rush off to the dealership to get your decked out ride, take some time to consider your lifestyle. This will help you make an informed decision when you purchase your first car.
Remember, you’re 16; what will you need a car for? At your age, your life revolves around school, work, and friends. Do you participate in extracurricular activities? Does your job need you to drive from place to place?
You need a car to get you from point A to point B and beyond. When looking to purchase your first car, consider a car that meets these qualifications:
- Has an excellent safety record
- Maintains its reliability in all seasons
- Fits your lifestyle and needs
- Is something you want to drive
Evaluate your options before purchasing a new car. You may find a slightly used car will fit your needs more effectively than the newest model car.
College and Early Adulthood
Your driving priorities will change in college. Students spend most of their time in class, with friends, or working. The design of many college campuses and towns limits the need for driving, so you may spend more time walking from place to place than you will behind the wheel.
A car may seem impractical as a college student. Consider investing in a motorcycle. Motorcycles generally cost less to maintain, often have better parking spots available, and give riders a sense of freedom.
While there are limits to a motorcycle’s usefulness, especially during winter weather, their benefits may outweigh the seasonal downside. Evaluate all your options carefully.
If you decide to buy a car, find a reliable one. For this, you will want to:
- Talk to a mechanic
- Read online reviews
- Review online message boards
- Talk to owners of similar models
Post-College and Early Career
After graduation comes your first real job. This makes people want to upgrade to the newest, up-to-date model. If financially viable, treat yourself to a new driving experience, but consider your chosen profession carefully before you buy.
If you are an office worker who will commute to and from work each day, you may want to consider a car with high fuel efficiency. Early in your career, you may spend many hours traveling to and from work in order to prove yourself. Increased travel on entry-level pay may strain your budget.
Many cars today boast high fuel efficiencies when tested in sterile environments, but the real world is anything but sterile. Research and test drive a variety of cars before making your final purchase.
Like all stages of life that came before it, married life changes your automotive needs. Most married couples continue to drive their current vehicles until they have children. What was totally acceptable for them to drive before might seem unsafe with a little bundle of joy.
When you purchase a car during this stage of life, consider two things: safety and entertainment.
Many cars, trucks, and SUVs today come with improved safety standards and optional safety technology. Options like rear-mounted cameras and adaptive cruise control increase the safety found in modern vehicles. Other features may include additional airbags and a reinforced frame.
While safety is incredibly important, it is not the only thing to consider. When buying a car for your family, make sure to think down the road. For the first year or two, your children may sit contentedly in the back seat drooling and playing with their feet. But soon they will want other entertainment.
Many vehicles today have entertainment options beyond the traditional AM/FM radio. Satellite radio and internet communications are becoming the standard in today’s newer vehicles. A DVD entertainment system can even turn your car into a mobile movie theatre for the little ones.
When your working days have come to an end, spend your twilight years enjoying the money you’ve worked so hard to save. Use this time to buy the car you wanted when you were a teenager, or upgrade to a luxury model that will help you retire in style. Now that you are wiser, you can actually appreciate it.
No matter what stage of life you’re in, make sure your driving skills are equal to the task. Otherwise, the car you buy won’t matter. Take a refresher driving course in North Vancouver to increase your ability to react to dangers on the roadways. If you are looking for a driving school in West Vancouver or North Vancouver, North Shore Driving School is here!