Tips for buying a safe car

Posted October 28th, 2009 by admin and filed in Car Care Tips

The decision to buy a car is one of the most significant decisions you will make. Besides the sizeable financial obligation, it is a decision that if made imprudently, can expose you to unnecessary risk for injury, disability or even death.

Wait, I thought I was buying a car, a status symbol, an expression of my personality, the treat I deserve…my dream car? The American love affair with the automobile is alive and well, and many chose vehicles for just those reasons.  There is nothing wrong with enjoying your vehicle.

Most people spend a large portion of their day in their vehicles commuting between home, work, school, errands, sports and other family activities.  It should be something you value, enjoy and want to take care of just like any other important asset. Asset? Yes, I said asset. Practically every item of monetary worth, such as your car, is an asset.

The approach to the acquisition of this asset involves smart pre-planning and research to help you avoid making this a stressful decision or worse yet, an impulse buy. Here are some important things to consider when making this important decision:

  • Research the types of vehicles within your budgetary limits and arrange for financing before you go to a dealership.
  • Read all data, articles and research you can find through the Internet, magazines and word-of-mouth. Vehicle crash data is available for most vehicles sold in the United States. The Internet also is a wonderful source for this data.
  • Consider a midsize car or a full size car. The bigger and heavier the car the more protection you have in case of a crash.
  • Buy a newer vehicle. Later-model cars will have the latest safety equipment and are engineered to transfer the kinetic energy generated in a crash throughout the frame and body of the car thereby reducing the injury-causing energy available to be transferred onto its passengers.
  • Look for antilock breaks, which are now standard on most vehicles. They will help you stop while maintaining control of your vehicle during quick, hard stops.
  • Determine if the car you like has air bags. Some of the cars with air bags have it marked on the steering wheel or on the dashboard of the passenger side. These are called supplemental restraint systems. The seatbelt is the foundational piece of safety equipment for any car.
  • Check the vehicle service records if you are buying a pre-owned car. It is important to know that any car you buy has been regularly maintained as recommended by the manufacturer. Demand service records from the seller and consider using an online service like http://www.carfax.com/.
  • Check the safety records for a vehicle before you buy it. You can do this online at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Web site at http://www.highwaysafety.org/. Look for recalls, safety bulletins and other information that is posted on the Internet.
  • Consider an impartial third-party pre-purchase inspection, especially when acquiring a pre-owned automobile. Our team Terry Wynter Auto Service would be honored to assist you in determining whether or not you are making a wise investment. Call or e-mail with any questions, or to make a pre-purchase inspection appointment,  info@terrywynterauto.com or 239-939-2500.