Beware Of New Car Costs Suprises

6:23 PM, Mar 4, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- AAA's Robert Sinclair says he sees more and more drivers with flat tires being towed because their car did not come with a spare.

"They feel ripped off by their vehicle not having a spare, a brand new vehicle," Sinclair says.

Consumer Reports says the jack and spare saves the car maker money, but can leave you stranded.

"What you may find in a car is a sealant kit and a small air compressor.  But neither is going to be any help if your tire's sidewall is damaged. You'll have to be towed," says Rik Paul.

Other costly surprises for new car owners, economical cars, like the Subaru Impreza, that come with expensive performance tires.

"These are designed to provide better handling and braking.  But beware, replacing a set of these tires can costs as much as a $1,000," Paul says.

And what for car companies who tout those three-person rear seats.  You'll find the center spot is often mighty tight. 

"There's really not a lot of room in here," says Sara Brown.

So, try before you buy.

Paul says, "Another heads up is sales people may push for an extended warranty.  But, we say skip it because what you pay in premiums will likely be more than you'll save in repair costs."

And you do not have to buy all-wheel or four-wheel-drive to get more grip on slippery roads in all kinds of driving situations.

"That just gives you more grip for going forward and backward, but doesn't help when cornering or braking," Rik Paul says.

All new cars can help you in those instances because electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes are standard equipment.

Consumer Reports says another feature that can be a disappointment is the LATCH anchor system for child car seats.

It's supposed to make it easier to secure it.  But, tests have found LATCH anchors in many vehicles are tucked so far behind the seat cushion, that they're very hard to use. 

So, make sure you also take the car seat on a test drive when you shop for a new car.  

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