In 2012, nearly 750,000 people moved out of the Golden State, according to governing.com. While there were of course a number of different reasons behind those moves, more than a few probably left for a new job opportunity. At least some have headed to North Dakota, a state with a population that is growing nearly three times faster than any other in the entire nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Making an exodus from California, or any other place known for its year-round mild climate, to a destination that experiences lots of snow and occasional blizzards, means getting a new weather-appropriate vehicle may be on your to-do list.
If you’re in a similar situation, here are a few things you should consider in order to make the best decision when searching for the right vehicle.
Budget and Financing
Unless you’re independently wealthy, cost is probably a major consideration. Before you make the decision as to which type of vehicle to purchase, determine the amount you can spend. PracticalMoneySkills.com offers a free calculator that can help figure out how much car you can afford based on the down payment you have saved, your current vehicle trade-in value and other factors.
Arranging for financing before you purchase will generally get you a better interest rate, according to ConsumerReports.com. Even if you don’t have the best credit, companies like DriveTime can help consumers with credit issues arrange for financing and purchase of a used vehicle online or over the phone.
You don’t have to be moving to North Dakota for the weather to affect your decision. There are many other places where snow is a consideration. If you plan to move where it rains or snows for much of the year, an all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle should be one of your must-have options, according to Edmunds.com. Either type of vehicle offers better acceleration during inclement weather, and also helps with traction and towing.
Look into buying one of these vehicles in your current area and driving it to your new state. When it comes time to sell, you’ll probably come out better financially if you have an all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive as people are willing to pay a premium in regions of the country that experience harsh winters.
Another important factor to think about is the commute you’ll be making to your new job. How many miles will you drive to work each day? Is the route prone to heavy traffic? If you’ll have a lengthy commute or will be faced with lots of stop-and-go traffic, fuel efficiency should be a top consideration.
When making your calculations, consider the gas prices in your new destination. Check fuel costs in the area by visiting GasBuddy.com, or downloading the app onto your smartphone. If you aren’t sure what typical traffic is like in the new area, you can get up-to-date, real-time traffic information, including average speeds, that can help you get an idea of what your future commute might be like with the Beat the Traffic app. Car Fuel Economy is an app that will allow you to check fuel consumption by vehicle year and model, as well as allow you to make comparisons between two models to help you make a more informed decision.