10 features to look for in retirement cars

By Anna Kantilaftas, 10 Sep 2016 Car Advice

Elderly lady driving car

Ready to spend your retirement money on that dream sports car? Here are a few features in a car you should look for before you buy.

It’s a common question among retirees looking to buy a new car: Spend your hard earned money on the dream car, or take the practical path to Boringville?

With the ageing population (65 and over) expected to increase to 6.2 million by 2042 and driverless cars still a number of years away, there’s going to be a lot more senior drivers on the road.

But thankfully, there are a few car features that make life for the older-gen a little easier, and safer.

Safety

  • Heads up display can come in handy for those with ageing eyes. It presents the important information on the windscreen in-front of you so it’s clear and easy to read.
  • Automatic headlamps are handy at the best of time, but add automatic high-beams which dim when facing oncoming traffic, and you’ve got yourself one less thing to think about when on the road, and improved visibility.
  • For those with arthritic or stiff hands, push start buttons can be easier to use than having to fiddle with the keys.
  • Big side mirrors can improve visibility and help avoid twisting to check blind spots.
  • Automatic parking doesn’t just come in handy for people over 65. Who doesn’t want a car that can park itself?
  • Also to stop the twisting when trying to see what’s behind your car, a rear view camera, or better still, a 360 degree camera can help. A feature that’s becoming standard these days.
  • Blind spot warning is another active safety feature fast that can help with those pesky blind spot issue.
  • Emergency braking is fast becoming a standard on cars, especially those wanting a five star safety rating. It’s a great technology that can combat slowing reaction times in drivers.

Comfort

  • Design is a big part of the car industry, but doors that have an unorthodox shape can make getting in and out difficult. Likewise, vehicles like coupes which have bigger doors can cause some problems in narrow car parks.
  • While you might be dreaming of spending your hard earned dollars on your dream sports car, keep in mind these often sit quite low to the ground. So if you struggle with agility, it might be best to opt for a more powerful sedan which often sits a bit higher. 
  • And while you’re steering clear of sports cars, avoid the sport seats too. The bolsters on the side can be really uncomfortable on the hips. 
  • One of the more important creature comforts in a car is electric adjustable seats which can be adjusted to multiple seating positions. 
  • Speaking of seats, heated seats are one of life’s little luxuries. But they serve a greater purpose than just keeping your backside warm if you suffer from back pain. 
  • Did you know you can get heated steering wheels these days too? They come in handy when you’ve got trouble with your hands, along with thicker steering wheels.
  • Most importantly, keep it simple. Cars with fiddly interiors and lots of little buttons can be frustrating at the best of times.