Choosing a car was easy when you only had you to think about, wasn’t it? You could pick the cutest-looking vehicle, or the one that was lowest, fastest and most powerful… but now you’ve got tiny humans to protect and transport safely.
When you’re looking for a new car for your family, one of the most important factors is whether you can afford it. Because ultimately, if you can’t afford it, it’s not going to be good for your family. That’s why companies like motor finance 4U have a car finance calculator on their websites, to help you work out the costs of the repayments.
However, you should also make sure that you take into account the running costs of the car – things like insurance, tax and petrol to name a few.
For a family car, safety is probably one of your primary concerns.
Always take a look at the Euro NCAP safety rating – you can find this on most car reviews or the Euro NCAP safety ratings. Make sure that you check the individual ratings too, as they are broken down into adult, child and pedestrian. Of course you should look at adult and child, but make sure that you take into account the pedestrian safety rating too. You’re going to be driving around schools, so it makes sense to have a good rating for pedestrians too.
Most cars have both active and passive safety features, but they do vary from brand to brand. Look for Electronic Stability Control, or ESC, which automatically reduces engine power if it detects that the car is about to lose power. According to Which?, studies have shown that ESC could prevent up to a third of all road accidents. Other active safety features to look for include automatic braking systems, lane keeping technology and visibility aids, to name a few.
Passive safety features include airbags, seatbelts and body shell.
Family Friendly Features
Family cars these days really know who their target audience is. They’re producing cars that have features that are more geared towards families.
Things to think about:
Obviously the first thing to consider is whether you can fit everyone in comfortably. Sliding seats make it easy to adjust the back seat space but it’s always worth checking. If you can, pick a car with high seats, so their little faces can see the outside as it whizzes past.
Fitting a child seat can be tricky if the door doesn’t open wide enough. Bring one along when you view a car to see how easy it is to get in there.
The boot is an important aspect of the family car. Whether it’s the weekly shop, pushchairs or a new climbing frame, the car needs to be able to handle that, as well as a few kids that are along for the ride. Check that the boot is a decent shape, and that there isn’t a loading lip (or there’s the option to raise the boot floor).
Similarly, storage space in the car is a key thing to look for in a new car, because it’ll cut down on family life clutter.
Dark interiors hide spills and stains that come with kids and cars. Leather is wipe-able, making it the practical choice.
The way you’ll use a family car will determine the type of car that will be best for you and your family. The first and most obvious thing to think about is how many passengers you’ll have. If you have or want more than three kids and you have pets, then an SUV or even a minivan might be suitable.
The second is to think about where you will do most of your driving. If you live and drive mostly in a city, then you’ll need a relatively small car, but if you do a lot of motorway miles, you should consider something large and comfortable.
Parking is an important factor. If you’ve decided that you’ll need a big car, your next consideration should be whether you’ve got space to park the vehicle.
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.