Some people in their 60s and above find driving as they age more overwhelming – after retirement if you’re not driving as frequently, new roads, busy motorways, night driving and congested city streets can all feel daunting.
Choosing a vehicle that helps you feel safe, comfortable and confident on the roads is a great way to help you combat any concerns and stay behind the wheel for many years to come.
Things to consider
Seniors have different needs from their vehicle from young families or new drivers – typically, price becomes less important than advanced features like parking assistance that can help make driving safer and more comfortable.
Start by considering your budget, where you’ll be driving and how often you’ll be driving. Will you regularly carry passengers and family members like grandchildren? How much storage do you need? Getting a sense of your basic needs will help you narrow down your search when you’re buying a car to help see you through the years.
Look for a car that is the right size as well. If it’s too big it will be difficult to get in and out of, but if it is too small it can be equally uncomfortable. Choose a car with lots of interior room and make sure you can step in and out of it with ease. Seats with lumbar support, an adjustable steering wheel and even adjustable pedals are all features to consider.
Visibility is another concern for many older drivers. Advanced safety features and new technologies can help with everything from checking your blind spot to parallel parking. Reverse sensing systems, rear cameras, and blind spot warnings are all technologies that have been recently developed and could be useful to older drivers. It’s worth noting however, that many of these features do not come as standard, so if they are important to you be sure to negotiate carefully with your car dealership and keep in mind that anything extra you add on will be on top of the starting price of the car.
Finding expert advice
If you’re thinking about a new car, the Internet is a great place to begin your search. You can find expert commentary, research new features and even book a test drive at your local dealership.
You can also find plenty of inspiration about the best cars suited to older drivers. The Telegraph has published a list of the 10 most comfortable cars, while Aol has put together a handy guide of cars to enjoy in your retirement.
MSN Cars has also recently published a list of the safest cars of 2013, which is a great place to start if you want to learn about the newest cars that are receiving high marks for innovative safety features. The experts at Carbuyer published a similar list of its pick of the safest cars on the road, offering detailed commentary about each vehicle along with a video review so you can see the car in action.
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