Buying a car is an exciting time in one’s life. That being said, it can also be incredibly daunting and stressful. With so many cars on the market and so many factors to consider, how are you supposed to know which car to choose? Once you have a family, buying a car has even more considerations that you need to keep in mind. Now you can’t just consider which car is best for you, but which car is best for the entire family. There are a few key things to look for in a family car, so keep reading if you want to find out what they are. If you really have no idea where to start with any type of car, you can find free car information in this feature article on the YesAuto website.
Is it safe?
The most important factor in any family car is car safety. Ask most parents, and they’ll tell you – they’d rather have a car that looks a bit scruffy but is safe, than a car that looks gorgeous but is unsafe. A few things to look for when it comes to determining the safety include testing the breaks while test driving, and also finding out how many airbags the car has. Cars also have safety ratings that are determined through a series of tests. These are generally available online, so you can do some research beforehand to eliminate certain makes or models.
How much does it cost?
Most people are aware of the fact that having a family isn’t cheap, especially when that family grows to include children. Suddenly, all these extra fees need to be paid – school fees, nappies, more food . . . That’s why most families have a strict budget that they try to stick to. You’ll need to assess this budget before you head out to search for a car. Luckily, there are ways of staying frugal while investing in a car.
How is its mileage?
Many people think that a car’s age has the biggest influence on how long the car can still be driven, but the truth is that mileage affects this more than anything else. Most families can’t afford to get a new car every few years, which means that if you buy a car, you need to be sure you can use it for a long time to come. Of course, some cars may have a lot of mileage on them and still work perfectly fine, but it is a gamble. Generally, the more mileage a car has, the more likely it is to give you problems.
What is the seating situation?
A two-seater might be perfect for one single person, but it certainly won’t work for most family situations. You need a car that has enough seating for everyone. While most families will fit into a five-seater car, some families may have more than five members and need more space. In these cases, other options such as minivans should be considered. It’s also important to make sure that the seats aren’t crammed together so that you have enough space for a baby seat if necessary.
How much will insurance cost you?
You may be getting a car for a reasonable price, but that doesn’t mean it won’t cost you a lot. Hopefully, you’ll be taking out insurance for your new car. How much you’ll be paying for your insurance depends on a variety of different factors, such as your age and driving history. However, it also depends on the car itself. Some cars get stolen very often or have certain safety problems. In these cases, your insurance provided may deem your car high-risk, and thus up your monthly fee. It’s a good idea to ask your insurance company for quotes on different cars.
Are the tires in good condition?
If you’re looking at a second-hand car, you must look at the car tyres as well. As you surely know, car tyres are very expensive. This means that, if you buy a car with really worn tyres, you may need to replace them soon after buying the car, which means that the car as a whole ends up costing you more than you budgeted. If you want a car but you can tell it needs new tyres, you may be able to negotiate with the seller so that you can get a better deal.
How does the inside look?
Generally, the inside of a car doesn’t affect the car’s safety or condition. The only thing it does is look ugly. But, if this is going to be your family car for a while to come, you likely don’t want a car that’s falling apart inside. You may think it’s quick, cheap, and easy to change carpets or upholstery in a car, but it can set you back quite a bit, so it’s best to get a car that doesn’t need much renovating.
What about a service plan?
First of all, you should always ask to see a car’s service history. As mentioned, safety is a big factor in choosing a family car, and if the car hasn’t been serviced recently – or ever – there may be underlying problems. If possible, you should try to get a car that still has a service plan or warranty that will be active for a few years.
How much space is there?
We’re not talking about the space inside; we’re talking about the car’s boot. If you have a family, you’re likely going to need space for all of their things. Think about it, on a typical day you’ll need space for your work bags, as well as your kids’ school bags; and that’s not even to mention all the equipment they may need for extracurricular activities! Plus, most families try to go on holiday at least once a year, so having the extra space will make that much easier. While your family may be able to cope with something like a hatchback, it won’t be comfortable or ideal.
9 Things to Look for in a Family Car is a feature post