Consumers in the United States are big fans of big cars. They like heavy-duty 2-ton trucks, executive-sized SUVs and 8-passenger minivans with room for a table and fridge. They love space, and they love lots of it. Unfortunately, all that real estate comes at a high price to the environment and the family budget. It’s no surprise why big families like to own big cars, but it might surprise you to realize how seldom they’re truly needed. Buying smaller has its benefits. Just consider the following:
1. They don’t need so much space very often.
Big families often have age gaps between children, allowing some of them to stay home while mom or dad is running errands. Both parents may take their large vehicles to work for the day, each driving solo. Families should consider how often they really get out all at once, and whether or not it would be financially beneficial to buy a smaller car and just rent a van or SUV on those rare occasions when they need one.
2. They don’t need so much space. Ever.
So many people try to plan ahead when buying a vehicle, but rarely wind up needing the extra room. No one wants to be caught relying on others for help, but there’s little financial sense in paying for space that never gets used. It’s important for consumers to seriously consider their real-world auto use to avoid wasting a good deal of money.
3. Larger cars are much more expensive.
Not only do big vehicles cost more to buy, they’re also more expensive to maintain, to fuel and to register and insure. This element adds to the perception of value that comes with driving a larger, more expensive car. Consumers would be hard-pressed to find local Toyota Sequoia SUV dealerships that don’t capitalize on that.
There’s nothing wrong with owning the car you want most. As buying trends continue toward bigger and more expensive, however, consumers owe it to themselves to consider more affordable alternatives. Very often, they’ll find just as much satisfaction in buying a smaller car.