Buying a car can put a dent in your wallet. If you aren’t careful with your choices, you can even end up spending more than you should. This is one good reason to be extra vigilant about what car features to look for.
To help you out, here are 8 of the best features you should consider.
1Engine Size and Type
Choosing a model with a smaller engine will lower a car’s price both at the dealership and at the insurer.
In general, bigger engines use more fuel and have a lower MPG (Miles Per Gallon) or the distance a vehicle can travel on a gallon of fuel. Apart from that, big engines are also considered to be powerful, making them prone to accidents. This is one good reason why insurers are likely to charge higher.
If you are looking for ways to save money, it’s better if you stick with a smaller engine.
2Adaptive Cruise Control
Cruise control is not just a feature used to attract lazy drivers; it can actually cut down on fuel usage, saving you money in the process.
When driving on an open road, cruise control prevents you from driving at a fast speed. This can save you fuel since you won’t have to accelerate or step on the brakes needlessly.
Some systems even have the ability to detect the speed of the vehicles ahead, adjusting your speed to a consistent and safe level. This means you are less likely to have to brake aggressively in case you fail to anticipate the speed of the car in front.
In addition to cruise control, another feature that helps reduce fuel consumption and money is ‘Start-Stop’.
Keeping your engine running when not actually driving is a massive waste of fuel. This modern technology detects when you have stopped and cuts the engine off automatically. It’s a great help if you’re frequently stuck in traffic.
You don’t have to worry about restarting your engine or using a lot of fuel to do it. The feature has the ability to seamlessly restart once you release the brake.
Ford, the company that pioneered the technology, even shuts the engine off whenever the vehicle comes to a complete stop.
4GPS / Sat-Nav
When you travel to a new area or go on a long journey, it’s pretty common to accidentally take longer routes and wrong turns as you try to find exactly where you’re going.
In the past, you would need to use a map to plan your journey, often pulling to the side of the road to double check. Today, many vehicles come with GPS navigation devices to solve this issue. Some of them even have displays to show you how far you’ve traveled and how far you are from your destination.
If your car doesn’t have this feature, you can purchase one separately or you can just use your smartphone.
5Tire Pressure Monitoring
If you are buying a brand new car, you will likely find a tire pressure monitoring system installed already. Although this is a standard, make sure to double check before making a purchase.
Flat or over-inflated tires are dangerous. They can also make you consume a lot of fuel, too. In fact, around a fifth of fuel is used against the rolling resistance of a vehicle’s wheels, which drastically increases if tire pressure is low.
You’re also going to wear out and damage your tires quicker if they aren’t inflated properly. Obviously, this will increase your expenses.
If you don’t have a built-in tire pressure monitoring system, just using a pump to regularly check and inflate tires can save you money.
Having a number of good safety features will save you money in two ways. Firstly, it can lower your insurance because they reduce your likelihood of crashing and damaging your car. Secondly, you won’t have to fork out for repairs and replacement vehicles.
From airbags to parking cameras, anything that helps you remain safe and avoid accidents is a money saver. Sensors, for example, can help you avoid nearby vehicles, lanes or the sides of the road while you’re parking.
Likewise, features that protect your vehicle from being stolen can reduce insurance cost. They can also lighten the financial burden of having to replace your car.
7Steering Lock or Immobilizer
With how the technology works these days, you might think that a steering lock is a bit of an ancient concept. However, technology can actually make your vehicle more vulnerable. Thieves can use the same technology to find out your vehicle’s weaknesses.
Even if your car is stolen, there are still features that can help you recover it. Investing in them can lower all the associated costs of losing a vehicle permanently.
A GPS tracking system is one good example. It can let you know if your car is on the move or where it’s currently located, allowing the police to find the vehicle faster.
Knowing the exact figure you’ll save with these features can be tricky. However, you can get a clear idea of your insurance savings by using tools and resources you can find on your insurer’s website.
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9Author: Brian Loman
Brian Loman is a longtime blogger, with a particular passion for finance and insurance. He also blogs about lifestyle and a range of other topics for a number of websites. His current pet project is DentalWorkCash, where he shares his knowledge on dental care financing.