As you start shopping for a brand new pickup truck, such as a Metro Ford, avoid falling madly in love with features you never previously considered and that add a lot more money to the sticker price. Unless you have an unlimited budget, consider your optional features carefully so you're not scrambling to make your car payment every month. By going easy on the bells and whistles, you may be able to afford a more powerful truck or a bigger cab than you could otherwise.
Two Potentially Frivolous Options
Vehicles of the 21st century have increasingly large numbers of options available, some of which once only seemed like science fiction.
You can get a cheaper version of this technology from your cell phone company, and it doesn't restrict you to using it in the truck. It's known as a mobile hotspot device, and it lets you use wireless technology anywhere you go without having to rely on Wi-Fi.
Touch-Activated Controls for Heating & Cooling
These look streamlined compared with the systems that work with knobs, buttons and switches. However, the small area you need to touch can be difficult to find when you're driving, which can be a safety issue.
More Reasonable Options
Instead of the flashiest accessory features, stick with the more reasonable ones that are truly useful unless you have an unlimited amount of cash to spend.
Most trucks still don't come standard with running boards. Even if you're a relatively tall person who finds it easy to step up into your truck, your passengers may have a bit more difficulty. You can order your vehicle with boards or get them through an aftermarket shop.
More Towing Capacity
This is important if you want to haul a big boat or camper, or a heavy vehicle on a trailer. Some pickup truck models now are available with more towing capacity than ever before.
Cameras for Better Viewing
Cameras on the truck provide views that mirrors can't give you. If you need to park in tight spaces or you love off-road adventures, you'll appreciate 360-degree cameras.
This feature is similar to that of riding in a train when the subdued lighting comes on along the bottom of the coach and elsewhere. In a car, it's generally on the bottom and around the center console and door handles.
Ambient lighting may seem frivolous, but research has found some advantages. For instance, drivers and passengers don't have to use a dome light to find certain controls or other objects. Having the dome light on at night interferes with driving vision. Drivers also have better space perception and feel safer in a vehicle with ambient lighting.
Several safety features that once were optional now are mandated by law on new cars and trucks. Airbags, for example, were not standard components until the 1990s.
Today, a reverse sensor system alerts you if you get too close to an object while backing up. That option will likely become standard in the future. In addition, blind spot alerts let you know that another vehicle is alongside you when you want to change lanes or merge. These are smart features to have in a big pickup truck.
Years ago, power windows and keyless door locks were luxury features; now they are standard. Many of today's high-end optional features may become standard in the future. In the meantime, be as reasonable as you can about which options to add to your truck. Sometimes there's a fine line between feeling really satisfied with your vehicle and feeling aggravated by the monthly payment amount.
If you want certain options, you may have to choose an entire equipment package that costs more than you prefer to spend. Do your research ahead of time and decide which options you really want and which you can live without. Then you're ready to head to the dealership and start negotiating.