There's a lot to consider when shopping around for a new or used car. Whether drivers are drawn to eccentric paint colors and comfortable interiors or eco-friendly engines, they can usually find a specific model that meets all of their needs. It's the act of finding these vehicles, prioritizing features and sorting through your major concerns that gets complicated.
Fuel efficiency still matters
J.D. Power recently released its 2015 U.S. Avoider Study - the 12th time it has conducted such a report. This year's version featured a lot of information regarding the factors drivers consider most important
when looking for a new ride. According to the data, about 14 percent of new-car owners reported making their final decision based on the vehicle's gas mileage.
Gas prices continue to go lower and lower. That's good news for many drivers, regardless of the type of car they have, as it enables everyone to save money at the pump. However, this movement doesn't mean people are ready to ignore fuel efficiency altogether.
That is somewhat surprising considering the current state of fuel prices. AAA reported that the American average for a gallon of gas has tumbled all the way down to $2.13
, which is the lowest it has been since 2009. The expenses are also continuously dropping - the latest results indicate a streak of more than 109 days where fuel prices declined.
Drivers look at the big picture
Still, drivers are not letting these low prices cloud their judgment or long-term vision. Many motorists are focused on decreasing costs as much as possible, which starts by investing in the right car.
"Consumers know that, although gas prices are low today, the cost of fuel will likely increase during the time they own their vehicle," said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media & marketing at J.D. Power. "Clearly, consumers are considering the total cost of ownership when selecting their new vehicle."
In addition to fuel expenses, the cost of vehicle maintenance
is also something to consider. Replacement parts and car repairs can make a huge impact on your wallet. That's why it's important to look into the average cost of common repairs and typical scheduled maintenance
. Not only can this provide you with a clear view of what to expect budget-wise, but it also provides insight as to the problems most likely to plague the vehicle down the line.