An old adage says that a man’s choice of car purchase is an extension of himself, and that may well be the case when you are a young man out to impress.
But as we travel (pardon the pun) through life, our tick list of vehicle ‘must haves’ changes dramatically, and never more so than when we are heading towards retirement.
So what factors influence you when choosing a car to take you into the later years of your life? Will it be a snazzy little convertible, a sensible estate, or maybe a people carrier to well, carry lots of little people and their associated mountain of pushchairs and toys?
Will you buy secondhand, or maybe it’s time to treat yourself to a brand-spanking new set of wheels? If that is the case, then you need to do your homework first. Spend time visiting local showrooms, and ask questions not only about the running costs, and interior extras, but also about where the car was manufactured, the background of the company, and what other models they produce at the plant.
Ask if manufacturers have industrial vision systems in place, designed to give precision quality control, which helps to ensure your vehicle will have had all its components fully tested before it reaches the car dealer.
Many of us are completely unaware of the way car manufacturers implement artificial intelligence which now makes owning a brand-new car a totally user-friendly experience. Not only from the initial construction of the car but right down to giving the owner a more focused drive, by lessening the distractions within the car and ultimately understanding the driver’s habits.
If it’s been some time since you took the plunge and bought a brand-new car, with all the new technology that is now available, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Time To Enjoy The Wind In Your Hair
We all remember the nostalgic films of bygone days, when impossibly handsome actors in straw hats and aviator sunglasses drove shiny convertible cars around hairpin bends, to some romantic soundtrack. Usually accompanied by an equally impossibly glamorous female wearing a chiffon scarf that was blowing gently in the breeze. These scenes of course were usually shot in exotic places such as the South of France or the Italian Riviera.
When retirement is on the horizon, you might plan some adventures; maybe a drive across Europe in a nifty little sports car, and you imagine long stretches of open roads, under clear blue skies, with the soft top down and the wind in your hair. How fabulous that would be.
And so off you go on a mission to find THE perfect sports car to take you on your magical road trip. The downside of that idea is, that your knees aren’t what they were, and being so low on the ground, you might just as well be driving a skateboard. You might want to reassess, and choose comfort over the convertible!
Hobbies That Require A Workhorse
Retirement gives you lots of time to enjoy hobbies you used to slot in around your working life. Previously, you may have driven a small, economical car, to and from the station or workplace. But now, you can indulge yourself with the right vehicle for your change of lifestyle. One that can accommodate things like golf clubs, a mountain bike or two, easels, and canvasses, or maybe just a couple of BIG dogs to take on long walks in the countryside.
But of course, a bigger car means it’s not going to be as economical as your little run-around and for everyday uses, when you are just popping to the shops or running errands, there’s a lot of ’empty’ car space behind you. Before deciding on an estate car, it might be wise to weigh up just how beneficial a bigger car will actually be to you.
How Many People Do You Really Want to Carry?
Memories can be short as we get older. And what we do often forget is our own parenting days, when every family outing had to be planned like a military campaign. Loading children, assorted ‘just in case’ extra clothing, buggies, bikes, toys, cool bags, potties, and changing mats into a family saloon. We thought it would never end. Back in the day, a BIG car was a necessity for the sheer volume of ‘stuff’ required to go on any significant journey.
Your retirement dream of spending more time with the Grandchildren might just come back to bite you on the bum if you do invest in a people carrier. Small people still need the same amount of paraphernalia, and ‘impulsive’ trips usually take hours to organise before everyone is safely strapped in. Think carefully, will you become the designated driver for your whole family, simply because Nanny and Grandad have the biggest car!
Later life car purchases need careful thought. Do your research, have fun doing some test drives, but most of all make sure your purchase is right for you and will tick all your retirement travel boxes!