What Consumers Are Looking at With Their Cars These Days

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    The United States is a nation that loves their cars and relies on them to get around, perhaps more than any other nation in the world. There are new advances in every year — from rearview cameras to help with backing up, night vision, automatic braking for better safety, and so much more. Our cars are part of our everyday life, helping us get from place to place, carrying our families and possessions, allowing us a livelihood. Car ownership is often one of the first big expenses a person will have in their life. We’ve all had those used cars that we inherited from a grandparent or parent and driven proudly. Buying a used car is often one of the most financially responsible ways to get around these days, although leasing is also becoming popular. Taking care of your vehicle is another important part of car ownership though — getting auto body work taken care of when you need it and going in for regular inspections and oil changes for example, are all part of being a car owner.
    What are New Trends With Cars These Days?
    In 2014, Autodata reported that almost 17 million new cars were bought in the United States — one million more than in 2013. Used cars are becoming cheaper than ever, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association. There’s an almost 7% decrease in the average used-car cost — it’s a little under $15,000 in 2016, compared to a little over $16,025 in 2014. Most cars that are on the road today are a little older than 11 years on average — and this may be due to transaction prices reaching an all-time high in 2014. The average cost was over $32,000 per vehicle, says a report from Edmunds Key Insights.
    Costs may have also increased due to a technology-driven generation of consumers. Gen Y consumers who are responsible for almost 30% of new car sales in 2015 were willing to spend almost $4,000 on technology for their next car — and expect that their vehicle will be able to support that. These new features do drive up the vehicle cost.
    What Are Popular Features in Vehicles Now?
    The most basic forward-collision braking systems are popular as ever and that technology has also advanced quite far. The most basic systems can help brake a car fast enough to avoid a collision with speed differentials of up to 20 miles per hour. That could have a huge impact on lives and how much auto body work you’d have to do! Night vision is also popular among car buyers, with over 30% preferring this new technology. The J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Tech Choice Study shows that 40% of drivers prefer blind spot detection and prevention features as their most preferred car technology update.
    Adaptive headlights are also a new technology that can help minimize property damage liability claims by as much as 10%, says research from the Highway Loss Data Institute. Again, these features can limit your chances of being in an accident and the amount of auto body work you’d need to do.
    How Does Leasing Work?
    Leasing a vehicle is becoming more popular among consumers — instead of paying off a car and watching it depreciate with use and time, they can lease a car from a dealer and pay for the use of the vehicle. At the end of the leasing term, the car goes back to the leaser and you can either choose another vehicle or re-lease the vehicle you had previously.
    Car leases ask for $0 to a few thousand dollars up front as a down payment, though this is often negotiable. This is much more affordable than actually taking out a car loan, where the lender will ask for 10-20% down. One thing to keep in mind with leasing though, is that there’s a limited number of miles you can drive. There’s different restrictions, usually around 9,000, 12,000 or 15,000 miles per year.
    There are many different vehicle options out there these days. However, keeping up with auto body work and other responsibilities will never change!