Now I am driving, It’s time to discuss getting a family car!
I am thoroughly enjoying driving at the moment, and we have a small little run-around car but we are quickly noticing that we may need to look at a more suitable family car next year. A car is full of potential for a family, from adventures and holidays to school pick-ups, friends over for tea and conversations so it is important to pick the right one! With this in mind, there are some things you need to consider as well as some tips to get you started before you find the perfect car for you.
1. Fuel Economy
How many miles to the gallon are you going to get? There is no point in buying a family car that is going to be very expensive to run because chances are you’ll be doing a lot of miles, even if it is only for short trips. You’d be surprised how they add up.
2. Number of Seats
How many seats are you likely to need? We have realized that with two big car seats in the back, the third middle seat only fits an extra person if they are uncomfortable and certainly wouldn’t allow a third car seat. The bigger your family, the more seats you’ll need. A good rule of thumb to follow is to always have at least one seat spare than the amount in your family, that way everyone always fits. Plus, there’s room for a friend or a handy place to dump the school bags!
3. Car Seat Compatibility
Ensuring your little ones are safe in a family car is paramount. You’ll find that many car seats can not only take up room in a car but may not fit or be compatible with your car of choice. To keep your kids safe and avoid this from happening, check the vehicle capability for accommodating car seats on a car seat checker such as the one on cars.com! You’ll be able to check different model cars as well as their compatibility with different types of car seats before you buy! Plus, they have handy installation videos too.
This plays an important factor in any household but it definitely does in ours. We can’t afford to make the wrong decision or have a second-hand car leave us in the lurch, so always make sure you shop around and don’t always walk in and buy straight away. If you are buying from a third party, look at anything wrong with the car which could hinder its longevity and running capability and therefore its value.
For us, this is an important factor! We live on a narrow road, in a town with a lot of windy lanes and big, wide cars just aren’t suitable. A massive car would be a nightmare for me, even if it had the number of seats I need because parking is very restricted, so instead, I need compact and size really is important!
Always look at the condition of the car, particularly when buying second hand. For us, we are unlikely to be able to afford a new car at the moment so a used one is more affordable. With that in mind, we need to make sure that we know about all the little kinks before we buy because I don’t want it dying on me in the middle of nowhere.
What does your family do? Are you outdoorsy and aiming to go offroad or are you city goers trying to navigate smaller streets? When buying your family car you need to think what you are going to be using it for and this will impact any additional extras or features that you need. Whether that is special tires or the ability and power to pull a trailer or fit on a bike or roof rack.
I am sure I am not the only one, but I don’t want to pull up to the school run, or a friends house in a piece of junk. So yes, I am snooty enough to need to like the look of my car! Aesthetics are important, plus if your car looks like it’s about to break, chances are other parents aren’t going to want you to drive their kids around.
Top Tips For Purchasing Your Family Car
- Test drive – Take it for a spin! Sometimes we don’t like the feel of the car, or the seat doesn’t go far enough forward (this has actually happened to me, I couldn’t reach the pedals!) or your steering column isn’t adjustable. Try before you buy is a keen rule of thumb whether you are buying off the showroom floor or second hand, that way you know where you stand.
- Pre-Approved Financing – If you are looking at finance you can get in contact with a loan or car finance company prior to shopping. They can pre-approve you for a set amount of tell you how much you could borrow and what the going rates are before you buy and this makes sure you know what you can spend and ensures you don’t fall in love with something you can’t get
- Do your research – Always check a dealership or third party for their legitimacy and reviews before you buy as well as researching the kind of cars you want and their rough market value. This will put you in a better negotiating position and will stop you getting ripped off.
Buying your family car is important, so don’t make any decisions too hastily! Always ensure you find the right car to suit you!
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