How to choose a family car that’s right for you

When you’ve only got one or two kids, the world is your oyster when purchasing a new car. However, if you’re planning on expanding, modifying your mode of transport from a stylish two door coupe to a vehicle that fits everything but the kitchen sink is a necessity. As you begin your journey to search for the perfect family car, remember that there’s more to it than just the number of passengers it holds. Here are some tips to consider when finding your dream family ride.

credit: Land Rover

credit: Land Rover

Work within Your Budget

I know, I know, no one likes to hear that icky word, but your budget is a key component when purchasing a set of wheels. The big question here is what can I afford? Take a look at your current finances and determine what you can comfortably afford. Are you going to paying for the car outright and require savings? Or will you simply put a deposit down and make monthly payments? If so, can you afford those monthly payments? By calculating the exact number, it will help you decide whether you can invest in a new car, lease one or buy second hand. If you get lost in a flurry of numbers and bills, it may be beneficial to take to a financial planner or your bank lender. Keep in mind, if you are paying off a car loan, you need to factor in the insurance costs and the variations on your interest rates.

Make Safety Your Number One Priority

Throughout out life, we naturally try to protect our children from harm, that’s why it’s important to reduce the risk when toting precious cargo in our cars. While all new cars are pretty well-equipped with new fandangle safety features, there are a few that you need to keep in mind if you are purchasing a second hand vehicle. This includes, front, knee and side-curtain airbags, strong crash-test ratings, both of which is an absolute must. More desirable features contain stability and traction control, antilock brakes, a strong frame (none of this thin steel commonly used on Hyndai i20’s, one fender bender and you’ll be sending that car straight to the tip,) reverse parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, child locks and sturdy three point seat belts.

credit: Land Rover

credit: Land Rover

Features to Consider

Have you ever tried to squeeze a pram into a hatchback? Yeah? Me too, it’s not fun. Even if you manage to get it into the boot, there’s not much room left for your groceries, kids sporting gear and all the other 50 million bags every parent carts around with them. A large boot like a Land Rover compact SUV is great, but remember you can never have too many spots to put extra things. Whether its side pockets to store extra nappies/wipes, books and games or multiple compartments that provide easy access. One final feature that is easily forgotten about is how many baby chairs you can fit in the car. Can it comfortably fit three? Is there room for a normal sized person once the chair is in position? Don’t be afraid to test this out when you are taking it for a test drive.

Just because you are expanding your brood doesn’t mean you have to settle for a mom-mobile that lacks all the high end technological features. With a little bit of research and some careful planning, you’ll be on the road in a car that’s right for you and your family in no time.

About Teri

Teri Hardy is a 30-something married, mom of 7 and the face behind the popular online publication, Mom to Bed by 8 as well as the founder of Mom Powered Media. Known as the Iowa Mom blogger by her local peers and “The Fairy Blogmother” worldwide. She loves to write, doodle & go, go, go. Control freak, master multi-tasker and shopaholic. Ms. Hardy has professional experience in working closely with clients on brand ambassadorships, client outreach services, content creation and creative social media advertising exposure.

Comments

  1. Denise Smith says:

    great advice we have a van because our family is big and we wanted to beable to carry everyone in it.

  2. Mary Mosier says:

    We have been looking for a new car, thanks so much for this !!!

  3. Thank you so much for such wonderful ideas and now i will definetly keep in mind all the factors before choosing a new car to buy

  4. Kate Zumpano Vail says:

    I’m a mom of 3, and I really need to upgrade in terms of space, as I have a Saturn. BUT, it’s hard to find a vehicle that’s roomy AND not a gas-guzzler. I’m on a mission this spring to find what we need!

  5. Maria Iemma says:

    As a widowed I was thinking that I needed a smaller car however recently my daughter has been asking me to pick up her kids at daycare and my elderly mother also needs my help with driving her to doctor’s visits. Your post has opened my eyes to the possibility of buying a larger car that will accommodate the family’s needs.

  6. Just wanted to read your ideas- I am 62 and have had numerous cars,trucks, & SUV’s..still good

  7. David Smith says:

    There is some good info here. When my son was little, we had a larger sedan (still have it) and later on we got a mini van, then a newer mini van and a Jeep. Having enough room for the stroller, car seat, diaper bag, her purse and any other stuff is definitely a requirement All of our cars were bought used, paid for in cash and were a number of years old when we bought them so they weren’t a lot of money.

  8. Cost , maintenance, insurance, and the final monthly payment are a big consideration for us. It’s all about the money these days.

  9. This is a great article, especially for me. I am a mom of 4 and my family is looking into buying the perfect family vehicle that is not a mini van!

  10. Wanda Tracey says:

    These are some really great tips.It’s nice to know that there are so many great choices out there for families.It’s also very true that everyone’s budget is a major factor in choosing an appropriate vehicle.Thanks for sharing.
    Wanda Tracey recently posted..How to choose a family car that’s right for you

  11. These tips are really good when choosing a car. I suppose that I should bookmark this page for later use.

  12. We had to make working within our budget the major factor when we traded in our 2 seater pickup for something more family oriented. With the size of vehicle we wanted, we had to go for used & with higher mileage since they are so expensive brand new.

  13. I’d say to remember to test drive any vehicle your’re thinking about. It’s amazing how different some of them drive.

  14. we are in teh market for a good family car so this was helpful, thank you!

  15. rochelle haynes says:

    good to know

  16. Michelle S says:

    Definitely key to stay on budget and what’s reasonable for you. I know someone who bought a 7-seat suburban for her, one kid, and her husband. I understand other things might come into play like more kids , or playdates, but be reasonable.

  17. Lorayne Gothard says:

    I agree that safety should be the number one priority!! One an accident happens there is no turning back!!

  18. Safety, good gas mileage and having four doors to go in and out of would be on my list plus a trunk that can haul the stuff for sports, picnics, travel and tailgating. Oh, and enough leg room would be nice.

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