Shopping is a key process in any purchase: it’s your chance to see your options, look them over, compare them to others in the category.
If you’re looking for a hair dryer, you can hit the local Target, and there they all are, lined up on a shelf for you to see and hold, with product information close at hand (or on your smartphone) so you can quickly search and research, ensuring you get the right product to tame your rebellious locks.
Car shopping, not so much: These jaunts can be lengthy days that start with internet searches and end with exhaustion, and result in having only viewed a few cars in between. They often raise more questions than they answer, and in some (or many) cases, time at the dealer is time spent fending off aggressive sales pitches.
That’s where auto shows come in: Once a year, in most cities around the country (we have a list here), the local expo center is filled with the makes and models readily available (or orderable) from local dealers. And rather than chugging from one dealer to the next and back again to compare cargo space and test out electric liftgate openers, you can flit from one display to another, all on one large floor.
You can sit in them, pile into them, load in strollers and diaper bags, try out car seats and seat belts. You can compare prices, legroom and amenities across brands, and see cars that you might not have considered. You can watch informational videos about the cars, learn about the video game-like media consoles, and fall in love with all the cool things new cars offer.
You can shop sporty cars or environmentally sensitive cars, you can see how much space one car offers over another, and you can see paint and interior colors up close. You can take photos of yourself in them and spend the next week considering which car you look best in. Pretty much the only thing you can’t do is drive them, and that’s not even always true; many car shows have test drive events as well.
Winter is a great time to hit a car show: cold weather and snowy landscapes make indoor car shopping much more attractive. And, it’s a fun outing for a family or for couples. So go ahead, just try to convince your man to go to the car show with you; just be sure to make him think it was his idea.