The time has come once again to purchase a new vehicle. This choice can be either daunting or exciting, depending on how informed you are about your options. The big SUV you’ve been driving around has served you pretty well but with the current state of the economy, you might be considering buying a smaller vehicle. Here are five reasons why going with a small car would be a better choice for you and your family.
1. Gas Mileage
SUVs have a well-deserved reputation as gas guzzlers and it’s not hard to see why. The bigger and heavier the vehicle, the more gas it’s going to take to move it down the road. Here, smaller vehicles have an advantage that you’ll notice in your wallet. A quick comparison of small cars and SUVs on <a fueleconomy.gov shows small cars costing less than one third the gas costs of some popular SUVs over the course of a year.
Small cars are almost always less expensive to purchase or lease than their mid-sized or SUV counterparts. The exception to this, of course, is luxury small cars. However, luxury vehicles cost more than affordable vehicles across the board, regardless of size. Even if you were to go from a luxury SUV to a smaller luxury mid-sized sedan or small car, you’re almost guaranteed to be looking at a smaller monthly payment.
3. Lower Insurance Cost
Smaller vehicles cost less to insure than a larger ones, in general. Of course, there are some other variables to take into consideration when calculating insurance cost, such as the number of accident claims, repair costs, your own driving record and claims history, where you live, your age and gender and so on. Still, a small car will usually cost less to insure than an SUV. Talk to your current insurance provider and get an insurance cost estimate on any prospective vehicle before making a final decision on your next purchase.
4. Maintenance Cost
Bigger is almost never better when it comes to overall maintenance and operating costs over the life of a vehicle. The increased size of the vehicle, coupled with the more complex four-wheel-drive systems tends to lead toward increased maintenance and operating costs. The first thing to check is the reliability of the vehicle you’re interested in through a source such as Consumer Reports. Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book also provide five year cost-to-own estimators that are excellent resources for comparing the price of owning a particular vehicle. Stay away from anything with reliability problems or high repair costs.
5. Interior Space
Auto manufacturers have gotten very good at putting more room into smaller vehicles. Just because a car is small on the outside doesn’t mean you’ll be without leg or head room on the inside or left without adequate storage space. Check out the cargo capacity and the passenger seating room on any vehicle you’re interested in. You’ll likely find that small cars have all the room you need.
Jennie is a car enthusiast and owner of a small car herself, a used Nissan Micra, She is a frequently contributor to numerous automobile related blogs.