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RAC

What we look for in our cars

When I buy a car I look for something with the wow factor that will turn heads, but also provides value for money in terms of both purchase and motoring costs. My top priorities would be air conditioning and a CD player.

Sue, motorist from Leicestershire

As a result, we now take quality and reliability for granted. So how do we choose a car and how has this changed over 20 years?

Over the last 20 years the issues affecting our choice of car have changed enormously. The environmental impact and size of our car are as important as its make and colour. But what is underlying these changes?

Features

If we compare the top cars of 1988, it is clear to see that today's equivalents are better. They are better designed, more secure, more technology-rich, more complex and, generally, much, much easier to drive.

They provide better information and entertainment as standard through technology such as Sat-Navs, rear seat DVDs and MP3 players. All of which frees us up to view our cars in a different way to 1988.

Brands

Being safe. Feeling safe.