Car Shopping for Safety & Affordability

Friday, October 30, 2020, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

With the unusual events of 2020, many people have their minds on safety, and that extends to their cars.

We want to keep our families safe, whether it is in a crowded store or out on the open road.

On top of that, we want to have that safety without having to break the bank.

Luckily, with a little research and knowledge, you can have the best of both worlds by finding a safe and affordable car that will protect your family and get you where you need to go without hassle.

Let’s look at what to look for when buying a safe car and how to save a few bucks in the process.

Car Shopping for Safety & Affordability

  • What to Look for in a Safe Car

    It is a good idea to be informed about what makes a car safe. Currently, most cars are primarily made of steel, which is easy to mold and has the capacity to absorb impact, so the driver is safer. As time goes on, we will probably see more vehicles made out of tungsten, which is currently being used in race cars as they are finding it stronger than steel. Tungsten is also found in sports equipment, especially in high-quality golf clubs.

    Size is also important. The heavier the vehicle, the more likely it is to withstand damage when in a collision. Big vehicles are also safer due to their length, especially in the front, because the further away the occupant compartment is from where a head-on collision occurs, the safer the driver will be. While more able to withstand damage, heavier vehicles can also consume more fuel, so try to offset that cost by reducing the use of the air conditioner, not letting the car sit idle, and using a gas station loyalty card.

    Finally, search for vehicles that are rated as a Top Safety Pick or a Top Safety Pick+. You have probably heard terms like this on car commercials, and they tell you that the vehicle was tested and meets all current safety requirements. To earn this distinction, they test how the car stands up to collisions on all sides in addition to the headlight rating and available safety alerts like collision warnings and lane departure notifications.

  • Safest Vehicle Models in 2020

    If you are in the market for a new or used car, there are many models that offer the safety you desire in a variety of sizes and styles. If you are looking into the safest new cars, the new Mazda3 and Mazda6 sedans are the overall winners this year for having the best safety features, and they have also been awarded for their design. Another great car that always gets top honors is the Nissan Maxima because it has a plethora of safety features, from daytime running lights to traction control and blind-spot monitors.

    Some people like to stick with one car brand for life, and if that is you, then there are several to consider. The BMW brand is known for its high safety scores, with the BMW 3 Series, X3, and X5 getting the highest honors. Overall, the highest-rated brand in 2020 is Genesis, which is part of the Hyundai family. Their vehicles earned a safety score of 10 out of 10, as all of their models come with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, driver attention monitoring, and more.

    Of course, you don’t have to go for the newest car to have a safe ride. Many used vehicles are also known for their safety, and they may fit better in your price range. The 2016 Hyundai Tucson continues to be a great choice as a smaller SUV with plenty of room plus airbags, seatbelts, and a strong structure that work in unison to protect the driver in a crash. The Volvo XC90 is another great option typically priced at under $15k. It has that elongated front that provides a cushion when in a crash, in addition to positive test ratings.

  • Getting the Best Price

    Now that you have narrowed down your vehicle of choice, it is time to go to the dealership and use smart tactics to get the best price. The first decision is whether to buy new or used. Both approaches have their benefits.

    A used car will sometimes cost tens of thousands less than their newer counterparts. However, you could accrue costs down the line with additional maintenance, and it will typically not last as long due to higher mileage. A new car will often cost more upfront but also can come with a warranty and a lower interest rate.

    Before you talk to the sales associate, have a plan. Are you able to pay for the car in cash? If so, you could save a bunch of money by not paying interest on a car loan. Some dealerships might also have a cash discount. If you have a particular car in mind, research it first by looking at the Kelley Blue Book value, so you will know right away if you are getting a bad deal.

    When you are in the sales office, have a conversation with the associate about your purchasing options. Ask them about the opportunity to finance the vehicle and compare their offer with other dealerships. Also, get a full understanding of the total cost and everything included. If it has insurance and registration added in, you may be able to do this on your own and find a better rate.

Technology has been good for vehicles in recent years, and as time goes by, these cars, trucks, and SUVs only become safer. Do some research, compare rates, and find the perfect option for your family.

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