Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I'm Shopping for a Car

My car is a 1998 Honda Civic with 110,000 miles on it. The transmission has been slipping since July 2005, but I drive it gently and have kept it from deteriorating further.

My husband's car is a 2004 Lexus ES330 that he loves. It will be paid off in late 2008, so that's when I plan to buy my next car. This way we avoid making two car payments at any given time. Smart, huh?

I think I have the best method for selecting a car. I start at www.iihs.org (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) to find their "Top Safety Award Winners." My search will be limited to these vehicles -- if it's not among the safest cars on the road, I'm not interested. Incidentally, their list is dominated by small- and medium-sized SUV's, so it looks like this will be the style I'm most likely to end up with.

Then I go to the library to review Consumer Reports reliability ratings for these models. If it doesn't have exceptional reliability according to Consumer Reports, then it gets cut off my list.

The cars that remain are the safest, most reliable cars made in 2006-2008. From there I will use fuel efficiency as a tiebreaker. I'll report back here with my final results.