What to Look For When Buying a New Car
You’re finally ready to replace your old clunker with the latest model on the lot. But since it’s been years since your last vehicle purchase, you dont know what to expect in terms of new car features.
Not to worry! Kip Rupple, sales manager at Griffin Ford in Waukesha, WI, and Dave Doerhoff, Internet Sales Consultant at Jim Trenary Automotive Group in O’Fallon, MO, are here to break down what’s hot on this year’s set of wheels.
The Latest Options, Additions and Upgrades
According to Doerhoff, these are the some of the top convenience “wants” in today’s vehicles:
• Bluetooth connectivity
• USB ports for their mp3 players and phones
• Phone and radio integration with voice activation
• Active noise control (aka noise cancellation or active noise reduction) to counteract engine and road noises
• Active Park Assist (aka Park Assistant, Parktronic and Advanced Parking Guidance) to parallel park for you
Looking for safety features? Here are the latest:
• Side curtain airbags and protection for rear seat passengers
• Computer-controlled RSC (roll stability control) to keep your car stable
• Adaptive cruise control to avoid the “following too close” tendency
• Lane-keeping warning sensor (with vibration and audible alarm) to alert you to “drifting”
These safety features can do more than keep you and your vehicle out of trouble. They can also affect your insurance costs, says Rupple. “Safety tends to be the one issue that insurance companies are interested in,” with some insurance companies giving lower costs for adaptive cruise control and other safety features. Check with your insurance company to find out what options can reduce your premiums.
3 Tips for Buyers
• Do your research. Rupple notes “consumers often come here after researching on the Internet to make their decision on options that are important to them.” Knowing what cars have the features you want can save you a lot of time at the dealerships.
• Understand the difference between value options—those that increase the resale value of the car-and personalization features. “Things like Bluetooth and an mp3 input are important to most people now, so those are going to be important options to have when it comes to re-selling the vehicle,” says Doerhoff. “A moon-roof and alloy wheels also add value to the car. [But] when you get into things like premium wheels, running boards and other accessories, those are personalization features, which may make your car unique, but may not add value to the vehicle for the next driver.”
• Consider all the benefits of buying a new vehicle, from the latest in safety and convenience to improved fuel economy.
As Doerhoff says, “We are in a world of making things easier and more accessible. When people are coming to look at cars, they aren’t just expecting good looks and reliability, but they are looking for how compatible the car is with their everyday life.”