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Q: What are Car Options?

December 17, 2013 12:53 PM

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The price that you pay for a car is determined by a number of variables, including the make and model of the car as well as the type and number of car options built into the vehicle. Differences between car models are easy to see, with price variations based on the each model simple to determine. What may be harder to understand is the worth of the various available options.

Car options are add-ons for a vehicle that a buyer of a new car can choose before purchase. When buying an automobile, the purchaser may be offered dozens of options, each upping the price of the car. Some car options change the driving experience greatly or add to the safety of an automobile, while others are simply there for comfort or convenience. A few must-have car options available can greatly change how the vehicle is used, or provide a large boost in safety. Some of the must-haves have even become standard in some vehicle models.

Antilock braking systems are a great example of an option that became a standard feature on most cars. When you press the brake of your vehicle forcefully in an emergency, antilock brakes help you to maintain control of the steering while still slowing the forward motion.

Other options that can change the driving experience of a car include all-wheel-drive systems that improve vehicle performance on snow-covered or icy roads. There are also adjustable pedals available, allowing the driver to configure the car's pedals for comfort, while keeping shorter drivers further from the steering wheel to allow for maximum effectiveness of the driver's side airbag.

Not all options will affect the drivability or safety of the car. A few convenience-only options may raise your car value at resale while providing you a bit of extra enjoyable style during your own period of ownership. These choices can include a sunroof or moonroof, leather seats, or an upgraded audio system. You might also consider purchasing a trim package upgrade or opt for a larger engine. Your choice of options is a way of making the vehicle a distinctive one that suits your anticipated uses, so go with what makes you happy.

When it comes to choosing the right car options, you can spend as much time in selecting from those available as you did in making the initial make and model choice. Just keep in mind that not all options will raise the value of the car, in fact some may actually lower resale values. It's best to grab a few of the must-have car options, sprinkle in some convenient ones, and enjoy your customized vehicle for years to come.

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