Buying a family car isn’t easy. You obviously want the best for your family, while keeping in your budget. And if you are reading this blog, you probably don’t have a clear picture of what you should consider when opting for a family car.
What You Should Look for When Buying a Family Car
Whether you are buying a car for the first time or transiting from your old car to family car for your growing family, here’s what you should keep in mind:
Is it Car Seat Compatible?
If you’ve got children under the age of 4, you will need a car seat in your car at all times. But when it comes to knowledge on installing and using a car seat, most parents usually don’t know much. You could talk to a Certified Children Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) to get all the information, but we are going to take you through the basics.
Your family car should have an easy-to-use latch in the back seat. This helps you to easily snap the car set into place, instead of strapping a seat belt to secure the car seat. The best position for the latch is in the middle of the rear seats. Not every car has it in that position, but you can always check. Some cars even have two latches. If you need to have more than one car seat, you should definitely check this out. If you are interested more about child car seats, check more info here.
Family cars have metal loops between the vehicle seat back and the cushion where you can hook your car seat. You should check that these loops are pushed too far back to access them.
Can we stay with the car for the next 10 years?
You won’t be in the market for a family car anytime soon once you buy one. So, you should be looking for a car that will meet your family needs for the next few years. For instance, as your baby turns into a toddler, you will be transitioning him to a booster seat. Will the rear seats work well with booster seats?
Also, your family might grow in the next few years. Will there be enough seating to adjust in all the kids, and maybe even their friends? Imagine a glimpse of your future in the car.
With the increase in auto accidents, safety features have also increased. There are literally too many safety features in a car that it’s impossible for the average buyer to consider. It could turn very frustrating. So, here’s a simple solution. When you have narrowed down your choice of cars, check the safety tests conducted on the vehicle by the USDT (US Department of Transportation). You can easily pull out these tests from the NHTSA’s website.
Some things you should be looking at are safety bags, third seat safety, emergency brakes, blind-spot warning, etc.
When it comes to the safety of our kids, we are willing to compromise our budget to give them the best we can. But it’s important that you set out your budget from the beginning to avoid stuck with too many choices.
Also, keep in mind that with the car, there will be additional costs such as car insurance, car seats, etc. If you aren’t willing to compromise on quality, you could consider getting out an auto loan. Auto loans are always possible even if you have bad credit. Learn more here.
When we think of add-ons, we usually think of the cool add-ons we usually see in car movies. But there’s a whole new dimension when you consider add-ons with your family car. You have to think of extra safety, more space, and even factory-fit tow bars.
You should be checking out whether you will be able to add-on to the original model. What kinds of add-ons are available? Remember, if you are going for a second-hand car, you are very limited in your choice of add-ons.
Ask the seller to give you a trial run in the car. If he is okay with you taking your family along, bring them too. A trial run will give you an idea of what to expect. For instance, is there enough space between the rear seat and front seat back for your children to comfortably sit?
You should also be looking at your visibility range inside the car. Are you able to get a good view outside the car? That’s important because when you are driving in and out of your home, there might be your kids or your neighbor’s kids running around. You want the best visibility in order to avoid any accidents.
Don’t buy a car because your salesperson can’t stop selling its cool new features and added safety mechanisms. He’s selling that particular model because he probably is extra the highest commission on that car.
If you have to ask someone, go to your friends who own family cars. Ask around in Facebook groups. I’ve seen some pretty good recommendations rolling out from there. These reviews are based on personal experiences of actual families so will give you a better idea of what to expect.