Friday, April 20, 2018

Do You Need These Car Features?

When buying a new vehicle, you likely know to expect that you’re going to be on
the receiving end of a sales pitch. While there are things you can do do to ensure
that you’re able to resist a hard sales pitch, there’s always room for a voice in
your head whispering: “maybe you should get that feature though…”

Knowing the difference between a feature you want because it’s a genuinely good
idea and a feature you want primarily because of the sales pitch is tough. If you’re
trying to read between the lines of genuine need and what the salesperson tells you
you need, then here’s a guide to just how useful the most common additional
vehicle features are…

Air conditioning

It’s useful, but only if you live in a part of the country where you’re going to be subjected
to consistent heat for at least half of the year. If you live in a relatively mild, or even cold,
region, then air conditioning is likely something you can do without.

Necessity score: 4 out of 5 (depending on climate)

Extended warranty

Warranties are incredibly useful no matter what brand of car you’re buying; be it Ford,
Nissan, or Ferrari. However, buying an extended warranty at the time you buy the
vehicle isn’t a great idea as you’re unlikely to get the best deal. Instead, check out
the likes of and buy an independent
warranty for your Nissan that will be far more reasonably priced. It’s not just Nissans
these deals are available for either, so keep this in mind, and turn down the hard sell
from the dealer who tries to convince you to buy on the spot.

Necessity score: 1 out of 5 (when buying directly from the dealer)

Reverse parking sensors

We’ll keep this one simple: if you can afford them, buy them. Reverse sensors
genuinely are incredibly useful, and they work best when they are included in the
vehicle’s overall design rather than added on as extras.

Necessity score: 5 out of 5


This one can be kept simple, too; you definitely don’t need it. The idea of Wifi in your car
might sound pleasingly high-tech, but realistically, it’s just a typical 4G hotspot connection—
on one that is far more expensive than just buying a 4G hotspot or tethering to your phone.

Necessity score: 1 out of 5

DVD players (and other forms of entertainment)

The problem with built-in entertainment tech isn’t so much the technology itself — any
parent will love being able to show their kids a favorite DVD during a long drive — but
the cost of the gadgets. If you choose a built-in DVD player in your car, you’re going to
be charged a premium for the privilege. If a DVD player is important to you, then buy
a portable device rather than choosing to have one integrated into the vehicle itself.

Necessity score: 0 of 5

Keyless entry

An increasingly popular option, and one that is well worth considering. It’s far from
a necessity, but if you frequently have to carry a large amount of bags to and from
your vehicle, it can be useful. So we’ll grade this one as “nice to have, but not essential”.

Necessity score: 2 out of 5 (but if you do opt for it, you will find it very useful)

Automatic braking

There are a huge number of new safety features being offered by vehicle
manufacturers, and automatic braking is the most promising. This feature works
rather simply; it constant scans the road ahead and, if it detects a potential collision,
it will brake on your behalf; you can find out more about how this works at These systems tend to work well and can
be a genuine lifesaver, so opting for automatic braking would generally be a wise choice.

Necessity score: 5 out of 5

Satellite navigation

Satellite navigation is often offered on new vehicles as part of the car itself, rather than
relying on a separate device you attach to the vehicle. However, in-built satellite
navigation is a luxury you can do without. Buy a standalone GPS that you can use in
any vehicle instead.

Necessity score: 2 out of 5

Voice controls

Voice controls have become fairly standard in vehicles over recent years, but do
you need them? The best way to find out is to go for a test drive and see how sensitive
the voice controls are; if they respond well, then they’re useful. The downside is that
few cars actually have good voice controls, so it’s definitely one you’re going to want
to test out before purchasing.

Necessity score: 2.5 out of 5 (if it works!)

Hopefully the above will help you avoid the sales pitch and only select car features
that are genuinely beneficial to you!

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