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Identifying the Vehicle That Meets Your Driving Needs

The number of vehicles that are available to satisfy your driving needs has never been greater.

  By Kyle Busch
 About Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch is the author of "Drive the Best for the Price ..." He has over a quarter-century of experience buying used vehicles and saving money.
More about Kyle

The number of vehicles that are available to satisfy your driving needs has never been greater. During the last decade, auto manufactures have really jumped on the vehicle bandwagon by offering numerous automobiles, sport-utilities, multipurpose vehicles, minivans, and trucks. When it comes to buying a vehicle, the central question is: Which vehicle is the right one for you?

Choices and More Choices: In addition to having multiple divisions within a single manufacturer, the choice of vehicles from which to choose is enough to make the consumer really spin his or her wheels trying to figure out just what vehicle to purchase.

The bottom line is that you deserve the most smiles per mile when you sit behind the wheel.

Although emotions are a part of life, concerning transportation, it is useful to put excessive emotions aside and focus on your day-in and day-out transportation needs.

Some Things to Consider: The following are some things to consider that will help you to choose the right vehicle:

  • What are your present and future transportation needs?
  • How many people will you transport in the vehicle (seating capacity)?
  • What type of objects will you transport in the vehicle (cargo space)?
  • Will you be driving in bad weather or off-road (rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive)?
  • Do you have an overriding need for fuel economy, safety, luxury, etc.?
  • Do you drive mostly in the city or on the interstate (automatic, semi-automatic, or manual transmission)?
  • Do you have a preference for an American or a foreign vehicle?
  • Do you need a vehicle with a full box type frame for off-road use or a lighter unit-body type frame designed to be used on roads and highways?
  • How long do you plan on driving the vehicle (warranty and maintenance)?
  • What will it cost to insure the vehicle?
  • How much can you afford to spend on a vehicle?

Information is Your Best Bet: If you are not familiar with the numerous available vehicles, or if you are still uncertain about which vehicles will really meet your transportation needs, visit your local public library and consult the April (vehicle issue) of "Consumer Reports." This objective resource provides vehicle information such as the size, weight, engine horsepower, optional equipment, miles per gallon of fuel, etc.

Try to identify two or three vehicles that will meet your driving needs. By identifying two or three vehicles, you will have some latitude and bargaining power when you go to purchase a vehicle. Then be sure to consult the frequency-of-repair information as provided by "Consumer Reports" to determine which vehicles are dependable. If you are seeking to purchase a new vehicle, use the frequency-of-repair information from the previous two or three years for a specific vehicle.

Last, but not least, read the road tests about the vehicles of interest in magazines and/or Internet publications such as "Road & Track," "Car and Driver," "Motor Trend," and "MotorWeek." How will reading the road tests be useful? Lets say that you identify three vehicles in a particular category. It initially appears that all three of the vehicles will meet your driving needs. However, say you have a preference for a vehicle that has a soft ride or one that has certain convenience features; the vehicle road tests will include comments about such information. You can then better determine which vehicle out of the three is your A, B, and C choices.

Kyle Busch is the author of Drive the Best for the Price: How to Buy a Used Automobile, Sport-Utility Vehicle, or Mini-van and Save Money. The book can be ordered from Barnes and Noble or Borders. Learn more about the book and the author at: The web site accepts all transportation questions.

© 2003 Kyle Busch
Additional Information provided courtesy of and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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