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When members of the military are deployed overseas for extended periods, many choose to avoid unnecessary costs in the interim by selling big-ticket items that come with ongoing expenses.
Cars are a great example of this, and of course, the upshot is that when you eventually return home from a lengthy tour elsewhere in the world, getting a vehicle is a priority.
The problem is knowing which type of car is right for you as a returning veteran, so let’s talk about the most important options to consider.
Think about fuel economy
The price of filling up your car varies wildly worldwide, and in most countries, this cost has risen significantly in the past few months due to inflation and instability in certain regions.
As such, it makes sense to prioritize fuel economy when choosing a new car, no matter your circumstances.
This is relevant because while you may be tempted to buy a cheaper, older model, any savings you make on the sticker price could be swallowed by the less efficient power train found on outdated cars. Hence it may be savvier to buy a newer, more economical equivalent.
Use a specialist military used cars website for exclusive savings
There are excellent suppliers of used cars for military personnel out there which offer discounts and perks to people who have served elsewhere and are now looking to buy a car for more permanent deployment.
It’s in your interest to scour these sites first and foremost, before checking out offerings that are available to everyday consumers. You could save significant sums on the price of a second-hand vehicle, including nearly-new models that have all the latest bells and whistles.
Focus on practicality over looks & prestige
A car should be a workhorse, facilitating your daily responsibilities rather than hindering you from fulfilling them.
Even so, it’s easy to get blinded by the allure of a prestigious brand, or overawed by the appeal of the raw performance of sportier models, only to find that there’s not enough space onboard for all your needs.
It’s better to write a list of must-haves before you even begin your search. That way you can filter out unsuitable vehicles so that you don’t even see them in the list of prospects, and thus avoid succumbing to impulses that are more about aesthetics than practicality.
Read up on owner reviews & reliability ratings
When it comes to knowing what a car is actually like to live with, even professional reviews don’t really go deep enough into the experience. It’s better to check up on what owners of the vehicles on your shortlist think because they’ll have the kind of long-term insights that will be useful in shaping your decisions.
Reliability is also relevant because you don’t want to buy a vehicle only to find that it lets you down, or is very expensive to maintain and repair when something inevitably goes wrong.
Investigate insurance costs
Lastly, before you commit to a particular car when returning from an overseas deployment, be sure to see how much it will cost to insure.
Insurance policies can vary wildly in price, depending on factors such as your age, your driving history, your location, and even your credit score.
Once again, there are some insurers that offer specific discounts for military personnel, so you could make saving just for having served. All that it takes is for you to go out there and look for these benefits, and the rest is plain sailing.