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Big Questions: What Causes Car Buying?

In the Land of the Free, car buying is a beast to conquer. The defying quest to find a car is like a quest to find the next treasure chest in a land full of angry pirates. Angry pirates try to take advantage of people and try to steal all people’s value in their belongings. These angry pirates are no longer just in ships but in dealerships. These angry pirates are car dealers. Car dealers try to take advantage of the value of people’s old car and try to rip them off on their next car purchase. According to V12 Data, 61% of Americans, while at car dealerships, feel like car dealers are taking advantage of them (V12data, n.d.). Car buyers based their car purchasing on the reliability of the car, the style of the car, the safety of the car, the advertisements of the car, the features in the cars, and fuel economy of the car.

The reliability of the car is the primary cause of people buying the car of their dream. Car hunters look at Consumer Report because of the way they gather their data of the reliability of the car. Consumer Report gathers their car reliability data from annual questionnaires that asks question about the reliability of the consumers’ cars. One factor is they consider is the recalls on the vehicles. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), The Dodge Charger was the most recalled vehicle in 2018, whereas the Honda Accord was the least recalled vehicle in 2018. Car recalls can impact the reliability because one of the car’s essential parts is not functioning properly (Clerkin, 2018). According to Autonews Report, the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the enforcer on the safety recalls by conducting a defect scan on all the vehicles that people have complained about the stability of the car. Therefore, reliability of the vehicles can influence a person’s choice of a car.

The style of the car is the second primary cause of people buying the car of their dream. Most people do not consider a car brand unless it is stylish. According to Wardlaw, the NY Daily News author of 10 Top Reasons Why People Buy a Specific Car, “45% of people claim that style is one of the key reasons they’re driving what they own today” (Wardlaw, 2016). Brands affect stylish exteriors in their cars’ advertisements because the shape of the car influences the aerodynamics of the car which makes the style of the car more appealing to the consumer. Another factor is the design of the interior. Car buyers across the nation factor in the differences between leather seats versus the cloth seats. Consumer guide also indicated that leather seats more appealing to the consumer than cloth seats because it helps car buyers who have dust allergies. The style of the interior and exterior can enhance the appearance of the car to the consumer.

The safety of the car is the third cause of people buying the car of their dream. According to NY Daily News Author Wardlaw, “Only 37% of car buyers claim that safety is an important consideration in the selection of a new car” (Wardlaw, 2016). Although 37% of Americans do not factor in safety in the car consideration, it is still a very important cause for people to buy any car whether a dream car or not. These new safety features on the cars help identify if the vehicle is about to collide with another vehicle. This new safety features helps drivers avoid head-on collisions and sideswiping. One of the preventive features on a Honda is Forward Collision Warning. According to Honda, the Forward Collision Warning (FCW) is “a state-of-art warning system that can alert the driver to a potentially dangerous situation ahead.” (Honda Sensing and AcuraWatch). Therefore, the safety features of the car are the third cause of people buying the car of their dreams.

The fourth cause of people buying the car of their dream is advertisements. According to Marketing School, car commercials “tend to center on several major themes, including: safety, performance, excitement, and emotional attachment” (consumer psychology; Marketing cars). Volkswagen Betta Jetta released car commercials that highlighted the car’s booming stereo with the car moving to the beat and their backdrop was music beat levels that moved up and down. In addition to the Volkswagen commercials, the Subaru commercials targets car buyers on the safety performance. Although Subaru connects the audience with safety performance, the Chrysler brand connects the car audience with the features of the car like affordable price and collision warning system. In Chrysler’s advertisement, the Chrysler commercial team gets a group of people press on their screen on what features they are looking for in a car. Then, the Chrysler salesperson, who is on the commercial, gives the sales pitch that the Chrysler brand includes all the features on the list. Another means of advertisements is through social media. The car brands put pictures on social media that highlight the cars features. Therefore, the car brand can hook a person on a certain car brand with commercials and social media, which ultimately influences a person’s car decision.

Cars’ features are the fifth cause of why people buy the car of their dream. The newer cars have cooler features on the cars than older model of the cars. For example, the 2018 Honda Accord has more features than the 2013 Honda Accord. The 2018 Honda Accord includes heads-up display that show casts a person’s speed and gas on the lower left side of the windshield. This feature, however, is not on the 2013 Honda Accord model. Another feature is the hands-free phone system on the car. Have you ever had a phone call and missed it? Never fear. The Honda hands-free link can connect your phone instantly to the car. Both 2018 and 2013 Honda Accords have this feature. Another feature is the cruise control. Cruise control is an important feature because it helps you maintain your speed without having to look at the speedometer every second. Therefore, these car features could ultimately influence a person’s future dream car.

The car’ fuel economy is the sixth cause of why people buy the car of their dreams. Aerodynamics can improve the car’s fuel economy. According to Edmunds, drag on the car can decrease the car’s mileage, whereas when lessen the drag on the car, it can increase the car’s miles per gallon. Although the drag influences the car’s mileage, automakers have made cars to be more aerodynamics, which boosts the fuel economy. The automotive designers influences the fuel economy of the car by “combining aerodynamics, aesthetics, and ergonomics principles, while meeting the Type Approval regulations” (What is Automotive Design?). The automotive designers ensure a vehicle is aerodynamic when it includes essential shapes: curves, the shoulder, a wedge, etc. Another means of increasing the fuel economy is lowering the weight of the car. Since the weight of the car can factor into the drag, it can decrease the miles per gallon. In addition to aerodynamics and the weight of the car, the kind of gas can influence the car’s gas mileage. Honda Hybrids have a higher gas mileage ratio because it runs on electricity as well as gas, whereas, the Honda Accord have a lower gas mileage ratio because it runs on gasoline. Therefore, the car’s fuel economy can influence a person to buy a certain car.

In conclusion, angry pirates do not only exist on ships but in dealerships as well. These dealership pirates try to take advantage of people. However, when people face head-on with the angry dealership pirates, people will know what they need to look for to find their dream car. The causes of a person buying their dream car are the reliability, the style, the safety, the advertisements, the features, and the fuel economy of the car.


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Aretha, D. (2018, March 22). Cloth vs. Leather: Which is Best for You? Retrieved from Consumer Guide:

Autonews. (2014). the Impact of Vehicle Recalls on the automotive market. NADA Used Car Guide. Retrieved October 16, 2018, from

Clerkin, B. (2018, June 1). These Are the Least & Most Recalled Vehicles. Retrieved from DMV:

consumer psychology; Marketing cars. (n.d.). Retrieved from marketing-school:

Honda Sensing and AcuraWatch. (n.d.). Retrieved from Honda:

Improving Aerodynamics to Boost Fuel Economy. (2009, May 5). Retrieved from Edmunds:

Wardlaw, C. (2016, March 4). 10 Top Reasons Why People Buy a Car. Retrieved from NY Daily News:

What is Automotive Design? (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2018, from Strate School of Education:

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