Car considerations when retiring

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There are many enjoyable aspects to planning your retirement, from where you’ll live to how you’ll spend your extra free time. Such an exciting period can bring up many important questions, such as: how will I budget for each month? And, what car should I buy?

Purchasing the right vehicle is a significant decision, as your financial situation will change and you may be driving a lot more or less in the coming years. At AA Cars we have a range of quality vehicles to browse and you can pick the perfect one based on the following considerations.

Access

A stylish convertible may be the car of your dreams and what you’ve always wanted to drive in your later years. However, it’s not necessarily the most practical option for retirement, with the lower body making it harder to access and limited space (and in some cases seats) making it less than ideal for taking out the grandkids.

Accessibility’s important, so consider a large hatchback such as the Ford C-MAX MPV which has five seats but plenty of room. Small SUVs like the Nissan Qashqai are spacious without being too big to easily climb into. It’s best to get in and out when taking one for a test drive to ensure you’re comfortable.

Comfort

Once you know you can get in and out easily, you’ll need to ensure the car is comfortable enough to suit your needs. Check that the car you want to buy allows you to easily change the driver’s seating position.

This is key to prevent injury, as sitting too close or far away from the steering wheel can lead to minor health problems. Features such as heated seats and climate control are worth considering for comfort too.

Financing

A lot of your retirement planning will revolve around organising finances for the coming years. One of the main decisions in answering the question of ‘what car should I buy?’ will depend on your budget. Consider whether you want to buy your next car outright, through leasing or another finance arrangement.

Think about other associated costs including repairs, maintenance, fuel economy, insurance and breakdown cover. Work out a rough estimate for each in relation to each vehicle you’re looking at and decide which is the most cost-effective one for you.

Safety

Car safety has improved dramatically in recent years thanks to technological developments. Rear parking sensors, blind spot detection and many more features can be found in a wide range of vehicles, helping to further increase the safety of the driver, passengers and other road users. Sometimes they’re included or otherwise available as optional extras, but are worth considering for your peace of mind when driving.

A used Citroën C4 Cactus could be a good car for retirement, as its unique ‘air-bump’ panels are designed to prevent damage and improve safety in the event of an accident. For something bigger, the Volkswagen Touran is another popular choice for safety conscious drivers, with an excellent Euro NCAP car safety score.

Technology

In-car technology’s worth thinking about too. Along with all the tech safety features such as a rear parking camera, things like a sat nav, heated windscreen and other gadgets can make driving and owning a car more enjoyable and convenient.

Digital radio and infotainment systems can be useful for occupying grandchildren and other passengers for weekends away and school holiday trips. While models with improved engine technology can benefit from the best fuel efficiency and cleanest emissions.

Consider these factors if you’re hoping to retire and buy your next car in 2017. Each one will ensure you choose a vehicle suitable for you and your family as well as an enjoyable drive, in what are sure to be some of the best years of your life.

Image courtesy of iStock.

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