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Buying a Car Without Driving Yourself Crazy


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The general trends in car-buying -- smaller and greener -- probably reflect teachers' preferences, experts indicated.

"Teachers are concerned about the environment," said Philip Reed of "They have an interest in green cars and hybrids."

Many drivers also are looking to downsize. "Younger parents are dispensing with the minivan; they want something different," Patrick Olsen of told Education World. "We're seeing more crossover vehicles [these resemble small sport utility vehicles, but are based on a car platform rather than a truck platform]. They are nearly as roomy as minivans, but look more like SUVs."

Kristin Varela, the "chief mother" of Mother Proof , a group of women who test drive cars to see how they fit the needs of women and especially mothers, said crossovers appeal particularly to younger women.

"Modern women demand form and function," she said. The lower center of gravity of crossovers is especially important to women in the "sandwich generation" who are caring for small children and elderly parents, Varela added. "Crossovers are lower and easier for children and older people to get into."

Smaller cars also are looking better to people who want to save money on the purchase price and on fuel. "I think people will be aiming lower because of the credit crunch, and they are paying more attention to what they are spending," Olsen noted.

"Teachers are concerned about the environment. They have an interest in green cars and hybrids."

Certified pre-owned cars -- formerly known as "used" -- also are attracting a lot more buyers. These are used cars prepped by a dealership and resold, often with a warranty. "You get the advantages of a nearly-new car, but you are not getting the initial depreciation," Olsen said. "It's a lot less, and you don't have to watch the initial $10,000 fall off as you drive off the lot."

Buyers still should have these cars inspected by a mechanic before they purchase them, he added.


Click the links below to read more on this topic.

Start With Homework
Decide what you need, and then start researching cars that fit your needs and budget.

What Teachers Are Buying -- And Ways to Pay
More teachers are opting for new cars, and many turn to credit unions for financing.

Gender Gaps
Men and women have different priorities for cars -- go figure -- and women now buy the majority of new cars in the U.S.

More Car-Buying Resources
Here's some information to help in buying and financing a car.

Article by Ellen R. Delisio
Education World®
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