Car Buying Tips: What to Look for in a Family Car

So, you went ahead and did it! You got hitched and had children. Congratulations! Say goodbye to your once carefree life and say hello to a life of baby formulas and smelly diapers. That’s right! Gone are the days of enjoying a full night’s sleep and now, you must be a responsible parent and put your family’s needs at the forefront.

Now that you have a growing brood, it’s time to sell your flame-branded low rider and look for a vehicle that is suitable for your family. As a parent, you have more things to consider when buying a family car, such as safety, car size, and storage, among other features. Before you walk into the dealership, check out these tips first.

Look at your finances.

It’s easy to get carried away with the prospect of buying a new car for your family. That brand-new car smell is so irresistible and intoxicating. However, you must be practical and determine how much you can afford to pay. Do some research and look for car financing companies that offer reasonable terms before you apply online for a car loan.

Put safety first.

When considering a vehicle, you must put your family’s safety first. If you’re going to spend a lot of time driving, your family car becomes your second home. So, look for a family car with the best safety features.

That include airbags, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), parking cameras and sensors, door and window locks for children, just to name a few. Aside from these safety features, it’s also a good idea to look for a vehicle’s safety rating at sites like ANCAP.

Consider expansion.

When your family is just starting out, it makes sense to buy a small car. However, if you intend to use your car for a long time, allow some space for when your child grows, or for when you have more children. Your needs will differ from other families with older children.

For example, if you have an infant, you’ll need a car that has a LATCH system, which allows you to easily attach your baby’s booster seat into the regular car seat. So, think ahead and anticipate the possible changes that may happen to your family along the way.

Think about space.

When considering vehicle space, you should think more than just where to park your groceries or baby stroller. You should also think about when grandma and grandpa pay a visit, the addition of a four-legged family member, a family holiday or a road trip with some mates. As your family grows, expect your car to be involved in these activities.

Interior durability.

With kids in tow, your family car is not just an automobile. It becomes an instant playground or an alternative dining area for your family. Look for a vehicle that can sustain all the punishment your children can dish out. Also, check if the car’s interior has vinyl upholstery or rubber flooring, which makes cleaning spills and messes a lot easier.

Fuel economy.

Over the years, you’re going to drive a lot. From taking your kids to school, picking them up at dance practice, running errands, driving relatives or friends to the airport, and taking family holidays, you’re going to cover a lot of distance. So, it’s only sensible to choose a family car with excellent fuel economy because all that travelling is going to cost a lot of money.

Entertainment features

This may not seem important at first. But once you’ve had a go at taking long road trips with your children, you’ll want them to be entertained. The last thing you want is for your kids to break out in a chorus of Are we there yet chants. To avoid that from happening, consider having a DVD player and headrests with monitors to keep children entertained.

What is your must-have in a family car?

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Comments

  1. This article brings up a lot of good points! My number one priority when I buy anything to do with children is safety! We have had our car for almost 11 years now and we are thinking of purchasing a new car. One thing I like about some of the new cars, is the little video camera that lets you see what’s behind the car. I would have full view when backing up so I don’t hit a child, animal or anything!! I definitely do not want a gas guzzler that’s for sure! I would look for good financing and warranties. I have seen DVRs in the ceiling of some of the newer vehicles, and I don’t think I will be looking for a luxury like that for my grandkids. They all have phones that they can’t take their eyes or hands off of. I wouldn’t be surprised if someday, that these kids would create an app to control or drive these new cars with all of its chips and what not! This was pin worthy. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Abigail Schuette says

    Thank you for this. I am 30. I have a son whos 4 and medically fragile. I did have another baby on the way i lost this summer at five mos. I aged out of the foster care system so i had no idea about any of this when i did purchase a car this summer. From justbettercars everything seemed like a really good deal, but the car is making a noise now, and the dealership said we have to pay them 125$ to check it out… We just got it so seems like some things were to good to be true they pushed on us. I scrimped and saved all my ssi money to get this car. It took almost a year i am hoping and praying this isnt an issue in the engine that we wont be able to afford. Because my son needs this car to get to his pediatric nephrologist, neurologist, gastroenterologist, and child psychologist and various therapy appointments in Sacramento about 40 minutes away from us. This is a great topic. Thank you for the open disscusion wish i had seen this b4 i oulled the trigger at just better cars. We also found some really gross stuff inside the car sigh. Hope it all turns out for the best! Great article!

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