When you are on the road constantly for work, you deserve a good vehicle. Finding the perfect one may be a trick, but it is possible if you ask yourself some simple questions and let the answers help you determine which ride is right for you.
Consider the Issues that Matter to You
There are many issues involved with choosing the right work vehicle. If you go out and grab the first good-looking SUV you see, you may regret it. So, consider ranking these issues by importance. It may help you decide which direction you need to go. You will be less likely to make an impulse buy or to purchase a vehicle based on brand name rather than actual value.
Where do you go?
This is an important question when you use a car for work. If you are in an urban setting, constantly darting in and out of crowded parking lots, you don’t want anything that is too big. You want to consider how hard it will be to park a large sedan or SUV. You want to size down from that and hopefully get something that will be agile in busy traffic.
Some examples of these urban SUVs include the Jeep Renegade, the Honda HR-V and the Hyundai Tucson. These compact crossovers generally have lots of nice features, but they don’t require nearly as much real estate on the road or in a parking garage.
If you are driving around the state, out on the open road frequently, your needs may be different. You may not be concerned about length and width. It may be fine to go bigger and allow yourself more comfort in the process.
How does it fit?
One of the most important considerations with a car is how it fits your frame. If you will constantly be driving for work, you don’t want to be cramped and uncomfortable. You’ll want to be sure that you can get in and out comfortably. You may want to have a raised seat height, like many crossovers, or you may be more concerned about a bigger, wider seat like some sedans.
For some, they’ll also want to look at how comfortable the vehicle will be for guests. Perhaps you frequently chauffeur your clients, your team or your employees. In these cases, you want to be sure you’ll have room for them when the time comes. If you want to be confident about backseat spaciousness, you can compare the legroom of different vehicles.
You’ll often be surprised to find out that two vehicles with similar descriptions are very different when it comes to how big the wiggle room is. The best rearseat legroom is 38 to 40 inches. If there is less than that, things are getting crowded.
How much does it haul?
You may not be in the business of hauling freight, but you may frequently haul other tools of the trade. This may be displays, boxes, and other gear. If so, you’ll want to be sure you have a large enough cargo hold to handle the load. While most vehicles today will let you fold the second-row, this can be cumbersome if you have to do it frequently. It also takes away your passenger space, which could matter if you like to chauffeur clients or customers.
How much are operating costs?
Of course, budgeting is also important. It is likely that you need to consider the fuel economy when making your choice. You should compare fuel economies among many different brands. Often manufacturers will advertise its most appealing fuel economy, even though that requires stepping up to a higher trim level. So read the fine print when making those initial comparisons.
It can be simpler to aim for a hybrid such as the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid or Honda Insight sedan. This way you know that you are getting the best possible fuel economy in that size and class of vehicle. Still, you should do comparisons to be sure.
How much driver assistance does it have?
If you are buying a brand new vehicle, you may not need to worry too much about this issue. Brands such as Honda and Toyota are putting all of the critical features on the entry level models. However, it’s important to remember that many other automakers are still holding back the best stuff. With most brands, you’ll need to look at a higher trim to guarantee you get such things as adaptive cruise control.
When shopping for used cars or SUVs, this should be a big priority. You’ll need to be alert to finding higher trim levels that have the driver assistance that you need. Since it has been coming online slowly, there can be stark differences between brands when it comes to these features. Keep in mind when shopping used that rearview cameras were only recently made a requirement on U.S. cars. Click here.
Parking aids may be a big deal to you if you are frequently in busy parking garages and crammed parking lots. For this, you’ll want to look for such helpful items as 360-degree cameras and automatic parking capability. These two features tend to be on higher trim levels, pushing up your costs. Still, if you get a truly good system, you are less likely to ruin your day with a fender bender.
What image does it project?
For some people, image is everything. If that’s the case for you, you may be judging vehicles based on reputation, sportiness, or luxury good looks. While this may be your most important factor, you still need to consider the other issues before making a purchase.
What brand is it?
Last but not least, you need to consider the brand. This isn’t a matter of image. It should be based on how the brand is doing in terms of durability, reliability and safety. You’d be surprised at which brands are lagging behind the others. If you don’t compare, your choice may need frequent repairs or it may not be as safe as rival models.
As you seek the perfect car for work, some simple research based on these issues can help you make the right choice. Be sure to ask your accountant in advance how a work car might be a tax deduction.