After a house, your car will be the most expensive purchase you'll ever make. That said, you want to be sure you're not only choosing a vehicle because of how it looks but also because it fits your lifestyle.
It can be challenging to determine whether or not a vehicle will work for you in the future if you're not sure what the future has in store. But the good news is, you can get a similar idea by choosing a vehicle based off your age.
Consider the following vehicles that are great for the different decades of your life so you can make the right financial decisions when investing in a new car.
Your first vehicle
When you're in your first few years of driving and you can finally buy your own car, you may be tempted into buying one of the more expensive and newer models on the market. However, it may be a good idea to stick with a used sedan during your late teen years and early-to-mid-20s.
Used vehicles are cheaper (the most frequently searched price range for vehicles is $5,000 or less) and they don't lose their value as quickly as new vehicles. More than 14 million vehicles on the road today are at least 25 years old, and 88% of the world's steel is recycled, so you you wouldn't be the only one in a used car.
Your second vehicle
One of the biggest determining factors in buying your second vehicle is whether or not you intend to have kids or pets. Today's young families are smaller than they used to be, so you may not need the classic family minivan.
So what vehicle is best for this stage in your life? Consider switching to a type of SUV. Many younger adults are choosing cars that are larger than your average sedan because of many different reasons including:
- They're better more moving. During your 20s and 30s, you're moving around more. You're either buying a larger apartment, buying a house, or helping your friends and family move. You're also buying more groceries now that you have a pantry and fridge to stock instead of a dorm room mini-fridge.
- They hold more storage. You're not just moving house when you're in your 20s and 30s. You're also getting out there to experience the world. You might want to go hiking, go to the park, or take a spontaneous road or camping trip.
- They hold more people. Whether you plan on having kids or fur-babies, SUVs and other slightly-larger vehicles can hold more people in a comfortable area. You don't have to worry about fitting the dog, car-seat, diaper bag, and more into a small space.
Your third and fourth vehicles
Middle-age is a wild ride. Between your 40s and 60s, you'll be at the highest point in your career, downsizing your house or apartment, and thinking about retiring. You'll also be dealing with menopause, which, if you've already been dealing with estrogen dominance (which afflicts millions of women), can be especially frustrating.
The good news is that middle age and your senior years are when you can indulge more when it comes to your vehicles. You're not worried too much about space for the kids. You can consider downsizing to a new sedan or another compact vehicle at this stage of your life.
However, you should still be focused on the importance of safety features. As you get older, your reflexes and your eyesight won't be what they used to be. Vehicles with the latest technology can assist you to make sure you're not merging when you shouldn't and that you're stopping when there's an obstacle.