Family is everything. No matter how it is made up, no matter how many parents, how many children, how many extended family members might also live with you, a family needs to be kept safe and happy. That’s why it is so important to choose the right family car; a car that suits everyone’s needs and that is as safe as possible.
There is so much choice out there, however, and it can feel overwhelming when you are trying to protect your family by buying the right car for them, and there are so many options to choose from. How do you know you’re making the right decision? How do you know the car you are looking at potentially buying is the one that will keep everyone safe and happy?
If this is how you are feeling, you’re not alone. There will be many people worrying about the same issues as you because when it comes to family, making the right choice is essential. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide on how to choose the right family car for you.Remember, what’s right for one person may not suit you, so you need to make your own choice in the end.
Why Are You Changing?
The first thing to think about when you are determining which car to buy for your family is why you are switching cars in the first place. What is it about your current vehicle that is no good now that you have a family to think of? There could be any number of reasons to change including:
- It’s too small
- It’s too old
- It’s not safe enough
- It costs too much to run
If any of these are the reason (or perhaps reasons) that you want to buy a new car, then the first thing to add to your list of must-haves is the opposite of the problem. So if your current car is too small, you need to have something bigger. If the safety rating is low, you need a safer version. If it costs too much, you need to factor in the running costs of any car you look at and pick a less expensive one.
If there is no real reason to change your car, for instance, if it runs well, is fuel efficient, has a high safety rating,has plenty of room for everyone, then don’t think you should just stick with what you have. Sometimes it’s just fun to buy a new car, and that shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of. Enjoy the process and enjoy the new vehicle once you have it.
Once you know what the main requirements are of any new car you buy, you need to know how much you can spend on it. This will not only help to narrow down your search but will also help to keep things comfortable for you financially. Without a budget in mind, you could easily find what you feel is the ideal car and purchase it, only to discover that you have overstretched yourself and that it is not financially viable. It is especially something to be wary of with anew baby on the way, or just arrived, for example, as you may not realize just how much money it will take to buy diapers, formula, and other equipment each month.
You can look at your budget in two ways. The first is an outright, upfront payment.This will, of course, be more expensive from the outset, but once it is paid, there will be no more costs (apart from fuel, insurance, and maintenance costs), and that can be something of a relief when it comes to budgeting your finances.
The second choice is to take out finance on the car and pay a smaller deposit but then also pay a monthly fee to pay off the balance of the car. Doing this can be useful if you don’t have much in the way of savings, and it means you know exactly what is going out of your bank account each month, which can help with budgeting for other essential things. It can make any car affordable, so you often have more choice; you could purchase the Peugeot 3008 in this way, for example,and enjoy its benefits without a large upfront fee. You can see more here.
Remember that it’s not just the price of the car that you need to budget for, but everything that comes afterward too.Research what the fuel consumption will most likely be as it could be different to your current car, even if they are the same make and model, and what your insurance is going to change to because taking a car on finance often means higher monthly premiums until the car is paid off. Factor these costs in to get an accurate gauge of what you can spend.
The Safety Aspect
After pricing, safety has to be the most crucial aspect of choosing any family car. You want to ensure that when you are driving your children and other family members from place to place that they will be safe, even if there was to be an accident. This is why checking out the safety elements of any car you are considering needs to be of paramount importance,and should come before anything else including the look and style of the car. There is no point in falling in love with a particular kind of car and then discovering that it has a poor safety record.
All new cars will be much safer than older ones, and this is something to bear in mind, particularly if you’re not sure whether to buy new or used. Safety regulations mean that new cars have to meet strict guidelines, whereas older cars don’t have to be retrofitted to meet those same guidelines. That means there will be some cars available that just wouldn’t be allowed to be sold if they were new. This puts an entirely new spin on how to look at which car to buy, and shouldn’t be ignored.
Research the different safety elements that cars can have, and work out which ones are crucial to you, and which ones are less so. Additional side airbags might be important to you, for example, or you might want to look deeper into the crash test ratings for each car. Other safety elements that could interest you include lane departure warnings, high strength steel frames, antilock brakes, stability and traction control, cameras, blind spot notification systems, and adaptive cruise control.
Buying a car can be exciting, think of all the choices, the colors, the styles, the comfort, the tech, but have you stopped to think about fuel efficiency? It may sound dull, but it might make all the difference to the car that you choose, and to your finances.
Gas prices fluctuate, and it can cost a lot to fill up your tank. The more efficient your new car is with regards to fuel, the less it is going to cost you in gas, and in this unstable economy that is an extremely useful thing to be aware of, even if you only really use the car for short commutes.
A fuel efficient car is also an eco-friendly car, and since this is to be a family car, why not show your children different ways to help make the planet a better, cleaner place, and use your choice of car as an example? It’s always good to be a role model and being environmentally friendly is hugely important and will only become more so as time goes on.
Alternatively,you might even want to opt for something that doesn’t use traditional fuel at all and buy an electric car instead. There are, as with most things, pros and cons to this idea, but if it is something that interests you then you should certainly consider it, or, if you’re not sure about committing entirely to electricity,why not try a hybrid car instead?
An aspect of choosing a car that can be easy to forget is the comfort. You may feel you have found the ideal vehicle in terms of pricing, size, fuel efficiency, and safety ratings, but if it’s not comfortable to drive, or your passengers don’t feel comfortable, then, in the end, it will be a waste of money – no one will want to use it.
A two-door vehicle, for example, may not be ideal for a large family, or a family with small children who need car seats as it can be hard to get everyone in and out without stress or potentially damaging your own car or those cars parked nearby. Of course, once your children are older and can buckle their own seat belts and use the seat back lever or button, then it’snot a problem as they can more easily get settled.
Leg room is another thing to consider. When children are small,it’s not going to be a problem, but if you have older children or you intend to keep the car for a number of years, then make sure you take a look at how much room is behind both the driver and passenger seats. Is there enough legroom there for comfort? If not, you may require a larger car. Everyone needs to be comfortable no matter how long or short the journey may be.