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people riding in a car
Aug 25, 2017

What to consider if you’re in the market for a new car

Auto Loans, Financial Literacy

woman leaning out of car window and holding up car keysOutside of the make and model of your car, you now have the opportunity to look at what features you can potentially include or add to your new car and how you will finance it. Many automobile companies are jumping into the future with technology, and are able to even customize car interiors so you can create a car that works for not just yourself, but your passengers, too! Here are some potential items to consider when you are ready to look deeper into the details of what your car must have to make your driving experience as enjoyable as possible:

Bells and whistles:

While air conditioning, comfortable seats and radio access are essentially standard features in current car makes and models, there are many ways to elevate these features to new heights. If you’re driving during cool nights, you can ask for heated seats. In fact, some cars are now equipped with automatic start features that allow you to start your car before you’re even in it, meaning you can enter an already warm car. If one person gets a little too warm or cold, you can also install dual-zone automatic climate control so you and your passenger can drive around comfortably. You may also consider keyless entry, which would allow you to open your doors without having to search for your keys when you have multiple things like groceries, bags or babies to carry back to your car. You can upgrade your radio to satellite radio, which allows you to explore thousands of radio channels and specialty programs that would not be available with a standard radio.


Some cars are becoming Wi-Fi compatible, which will allow for you and your passengers to hook up to the Internet without using mobile data. Wi-Fi allows you to connect your phone wirelessly to your car to play music, and some cars may be pre-programmed with app capabilities like Pandora Internet Radio, Stitcher or Spotify. Your passengers will enjoy streaming movies and videos on their smart devices, or you can have a DVD and/or Blu-ray player installed for a hands-free movie-watching experience.

Smart features:

Smart features offer drivers a way to drive safely with convenience. Voice controls and Bluetooth connectivity allow for hands-free calling and texting while driving. Built-in navigation systems are also moving toward becoming more voice-control friendly versus the typing method most commonly used today.

Other smart features include the development of car cameras and sensor technology. Back-up and 360-degree surround-view cameras allow for parking and backing out of parking spots or garages with ease, while sensor technology like blind-spot monitoring can signal when you are too close to other cars or objects. Additional sensor technology includes automatic emergency braking, which can sense a potential collision and initiate braking, along with automatic high beams which turn off your high beams if other cars are passing you.

Safety gear:

Both first aid and car safety kits are considerable investments in case you get a flat tire or you or your passenger gets hurt while on the road. Car safety kits may include flashlights, gloves, rags, tire sealant, jumper cables, reflective warning triangles and more for instances where you need to pull over due to a flat tire or issues with your car battery. Make sure that you also have easy access to your spare tire, too, so either you or a roadside assistant can change your tire and get you back on the road.


Kid-friendly vehicles may include ample trunk space and backseat cubbies for backpacks, snacks and entertainment items like books or movie-watching devices like tablets or DVD/Blu-ray players. And speaking of snacks, you may want cup holders for water bottles or juice boxes. Other features may include 4-doors and spacious seating arrangements to avoid an overcrowded car.

Keep in mind that some of these items may not be available for the car you have in mind. Make a list of your non-negotiable items that make sense for your lifestyle and budget, and see what other makes and models would offer a compromise between your must-haves for now and a few years from now.

Where to get an auto loan

Once you’ve figured out your ideal car, the next step is to decide where to finance your auto loan. Credit unions are known to offer lower loan rates than other lending institutions because they’re not-for-profit and member-owned. At Mission Fed, all San Diegans are welcome, and you can apply for an Auto Loan at a branch, over the phone or online.

To make sure you discuss all of your loan options and receive answers to your questions and any other information you need, make an appointment with someone at the credit union to discuss your loan options before you start car shopping or apply online to get a preapproval. Be sure to ask the Dealer for an “option contract” if you want to finance directly with your local credit union or financial institution.

Stop by any of our local branches throughout San Diego County, call us at 800.500.6328 or go online today to apply. Plus, you can view our current rates online anytime.

The content provided in this blog consists of the opinions and ideas of the author alone and should be used for informational purposes only. Mission Federal Credit Union disclaims any liability for decisions you make based on the information provided. References to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name in this article by Mission Federal Credit Union is for the information and convenience of its readers and does not constitute endorsement, control or warranty by Mission Federal Credit Union.

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