Today’s auto buyer has so many options when choosing a vehicle to buy. Used or new, sedan or SUV… these are just two of the many questions you will have to ask yourself when car shopping.
At Rick & Ray’s Auto Plaza, we’ve serviced thousands of vehicles of all shapes and sizes, and we want to help you know how to choose the perfect vehicle. Here are some of the things you need to consider when shopping for a new car.
Style of Car
The first thing to consider is the style of car you want to drive.
- Hatchback: Hatchbacks are similar to sedans but have a larger cargo area and a trunk door that hinges above the rear window. These are great if you want a small car but need more cargo space than a sedan can offer.
- Crossover: Crossovers have SUV-style chassis on car-styled frames. They are more lightly built and smaller than SUVs, which makes them better for city driving.
- Minivan: A minivan is a van that has passenger seats instead of cargo space. They often have 7 or 8 passenger seats, making them perfect for larger families.
- Pickup Truck: A pickup truck has an enclosed cab with an open cargo area. They can either have space for two passengers or four.
- Sedan: The most common type of car, with four doors and a standard trunk. Sedans come in four sizes: full-size, mid-size, compact, and subcompact.
- SUV: Sport utility vehicles are becoming more and more popular. They can comfortably fit 5-6 people and are built on large, sturdy frames.
- Van: Vans have two or three seats and are often used to transport goods and do other kinds of work. They often have a sealed cab from the cargo area and frequently do not have rear windows.
There are other types of vehicles, like convertibles, minicars, supercars, and luxury cars, but the vehicles listed above are the most common types that people shop for.
Hybrid Car, Electric Car, or Standard
Hybrids and electric vehicles are becoming more popular as gas prices rise and as people become more environmentally conscious. These cars are often more expensive than a standard engine but may save you money in the long run.
Type of Driving
Where will you be driving your new car? If you’re mostly a city driver or you don’t take long trips, a smaller, maneuverable car might be the car for you. But if you live in a rural area or you’re a big fan of road trips, a larger car or SUV might be more enjoyable to drive.
If you’re buying a brand new car, this isn’t a concern, but you should definitely consider the mileage on a used car. As mileage goes up, the price of a car goes down – but more miles means more wear and tear on the engine. The mileage of the car may also affect your insurance premium or coverage.
Number of Seats
How many passengers will you need to carry, and how big are they? If you’re regularly transporting yourself, your spouse, and your three teenage children, a sedan will be an uncomfortable fit! A minivan, on the other hand, might be perfect.
Type and Number of Doors
The doors of your vehicle are important for loading and unloading passengers and cargo. Fancy doors that swing up or out might look cool in the car commercial but may not perform as nicely in a parking space.
The door question really comes into consideration when you’re comparing hatchbacks and sedans. These vehicles have similarly sized cabins but very different trunk systems. You also sometimes have to choose between a two-door and a four-door car. If you think you’ll frequently be carrying passengers in your back seat, a four-door vehicle is better.
Cargo space is an important feature of your car. Your cargo space is where you will often store things like your spare tire, jumper cables, and other important equipment. Many vehicles like crossovers, SUVs, and minivans have seats that can be folded down to make more cargo space. However, sedans are limited to the trunk. Pickup trucks have lots of cargo space, but it is open to the air unless you put a tarp or a bed cover over it.
Amount of Driving
When you’re looking for a new car, you should think realistically about the amount of driving you plan on doing and what that might mean for fuel economy and reliability. The more miles you put on your car, the more it pays to have a fuel-efficient vehicle. Online comparison tools can help you see how the car you’re considering compares to similar vehicles.
If reliability is a high priority, make sure you know the terms of your vehicle’s standard factory warranty, which can range from 3 years/36,000 miles to 5 years/60,000 miles for a new car. Used cars can also be purchased with a warranty for parts that typically lasts for 2 years.
The most important feature of any car is the safety system. You need to feel confident that your vehicle can keep you and your passengers safe. Today’s cars virtually all come with a Supplemental Restraint System or SRS.
The SRS includes seat belts, airbags, and windshields. The front window of a car greatly affects the security of the driver and passengers in an accident. Look for a vehicle with a laminated windshield or windshield that uses OEM glass, and inspect it carefully for cracks, chips, or other flaws.
When buying a used car, you also want to ask about the airbags, especially if the car has an accident record.
Caring For Your New Car
All of these features should be weighed against each other before you make the final decision to purchase a car. Both new and used cars require regular maintenance to keep you safe on the road. If your car needs inspection or any part of it needs attention, contact Rick and Ray’s Auto Plaza. We offer a full range of car repairs and services, including regular maintenance and engine tune-ups.
Contact us in Fort Worth, TX, at 817-609-4293. Our address is 2425 Cullen St. in Fort Worth, TX. Our business hours are Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and we have secure after-hours drop-off and pickup.