People are looking at cars much differently than they did a decade ago. Rising gas prices as well as other economic factors have changed what people need out of a car. Automakers are finally starting to come around to producing what the consumers want. What are some of the current car buying trends?

Leases Are More Popular Than Ever

More people are looking into leased cars for a variety of reasons. The first reason is that a leased car costs about the same as used car prices. Consumers are taking advantage of the fact that they can drive a new car for under $200 a month. Leases are also attractive because they don't require a long-term commitment. You can lease a car for as little as two years. It comes in handy when you aren't sure how long you may stay employed for.

Good Gas Mileage Is A Must

Hybrid cars are getting a lot of attention these days due to their great gas mileage. Getting 40 miles per gallon helps out when gas prices are $4 a gallon. Car valuations for used cars that conserve fuel will stay relatively high for the first year or two. Some car owners have reported trading in their used cars for the same price they originally bought it for.

Apps Aren't Just For Your Phone Anymore

Pandora will become what the FM radio was for previous generations. Drivers have apps in their car that will let them update their Facebook status using their voice. Getting driving directions, calling your mom while in the car and other actions are made possible by apps for your car. It has made driving your car much more interactive than it ever has.

Driving May Become Obsolete One Day

Google has launched a prototype of a car that drives on its own. It uses sensors and other equipment to see where it is going. The car can even stop if it senses something in the road. All the driver has to do is tell the car where to go. This technology would allow those with handicaps to get around on their own.

Cars have evolved rapidly in the last five years. They are becoming more responsive, interactive and self-aware. The days of needing a map to get around town are long gone. Improved technology will help drivers get where they are going faster and safer than ever before.

Bio: Sean has been in the automotive industry for over 20 years.