Choosing the Right Vehicle
People love their cars, there’s no doubt about it. We love them so much that we often spend too much for them for all of the wrong reasons. People tend to buy cars that are flashy, that are popular, or that have the most exciting TV commercials, rather than basing their decision on more practical criteria. Choosing a vehicle based on your actual needs rather than on some ‘unreasonable reasoning’ can save you money not just on the car itself, but on a number of vehicle related costs.
Take the SUV explosion of the late 90s and the 2000s as an example. SUVs are everywhere despite the fact that they’re more expensive, burn more fuel, and are often more dangerous than a regular car. People are drawn to the cargo capacity of the SUV, are lulled into a false sense of security based on its size, and like the fact that it can be taken off-road if necessary.
That’s all well and good, but if you own an SUV, how often do you transport large items in it? How often do you take it out for a romp through the desert or other off-road area? If you’re answers to these questions are “never” or “rarely,” then you probably never needed to buy an SUV. You’re paying more for gas than you need to, and probably more for auto insurance.
If you’re considering buying an SUV, stop and ask yourself those questions. If you don’t need to transport large items regularly, are not likely to go “four wheeling,” and don’t have a large family, you may do better with a smaller car.
Your vehicle is the one major purchase you’re likely to make in life that actually depreciates in value over time. When you’re spending thousands on something that is going to be worth less the moment you drive it off the lot, you need to make sure that you’re getting as much as you can for as little as you can get away with.
On the other end of the spectrum is the flashy sports car. People buy these to show off, plain and simple. It’s that love affair with cars that makes people want to buy a car that looks cool and fast. There is no practical purpose to own a Chevy Corvette or Dodge Viper. You’re better off saving your money and impressing the ladies with your bank balance rather than your wheels.