To help you find a practical and safe car for your family, below is a quick guide highlighting eight things to consider while shopping.
Safety is always important, but when you’re carrying the precious cargo that is your family, it’s absolutely paramount. Most modern cars have a decent safety spec, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding one that meets your needs.
Cars built for a family tend to be more expensive than smaller city cars, so your budget may need to stretch further if you want a car that ticks all the boxes above. Of course, it is possible to buy affordable family cars, but you’ll need to be savvy with your search to find a model that meets your requirements with plenty of space for the whole family.
Think carefully about how much you can afford before you hit the forecourt. Doing the sums before you start your search will help you stick to a sensible budget, and not get carried away and overspend. It’ll also make your search simpler, narrowing the field of options so you have a ballpark figure when you start looking at different models.
Using finance to buy your perfect family car is another option, which will allow you to buy a newer or higher specification model whilst spreading the cost of the purchase.
Functionality may come behind space and number of seats when choosing a family car, but it’s still worth considering what kind of features a car has.
Added extras like smartphone integration and touch screen infotainment systems for rear-seat passengers are useful nice-to-haves for keeping everyone entertained on long journeys.
Durability and ease of cleaning
The inside of your car will occasionally be subject to the wear and tear you can find on most second-hand family cars. And so, while shopping, it’s advised to look for durable, easy to clean interiors, such as dark upholstery or leather, which is easier to clean. The interior should ideally withstand sticky fingerprints, spilled milk, muddy footprints, and pet hair.
Unless it’s only you in the driving seat and your baby accompanying you in the passenger seat, chances are two-seater vehicles shouldn’t be entertained. It’s important to consider, for example, whether you’ll have enough space to pick up your grandma who comes over to visit on the weekend, and whether you have room to fit the children too.
As well as the number of bums you can fit on seats, you also want a car that can fit all the extras that go alongside day to day family life, such as prams, pets, shopping bags, bikes and more. There will also be times where you need to fit luggage in if you’re planning trips away.
You ideally want to look for cars with a minimum of 300 litres of boot space to comfortably fit you, the kids and everything in between.
Folding rear seats on SUVs are again a good option, available when you need them, with the ability to be folded away should you need the extra space.
If you’re out doing your weekly shop with the kids, an unplanned breakdown is not what you need, so reliability is key. Newer cars will offer you more reliability, having had fewer previous owners and less wear and tear.
Further questions you should ask yourself when looking for your family car are the vehicle’s fuel economy and other running costs such as tax, insurance and the type of driving you will be doing in the car.
A car considered as having good fuel economy is anything between 50-60mpg. This will provide you with an efficient vehicle with lower running costs.
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