When you are buying a family car, the safety of your family is your main priority. A new car is a big commitment and decision, so choosing wisely is important. Buying a car with kids in mind requires you to look at safety features, of course, but also the size of your family and how you will be using the car, the cost of buying and running the car, and what needs your children will have on car trips. Whether you already have kids or are just thinking about starting a family soon, buy a car with your kids – and this advice – in mind.
Nothing is more important than keeping your family safe. Strong braking and stability control will help you travel safely with your kids. When researching safety features in family cars, go beyond simply looking at crash safety ratings and how likely the car is to roll over. You should also consider vehicles that have extra safety features such as blind spot warning, self-parking, driver monitoring software, lane departure warning, a backup camera, parking sensors, and adaptive cruise control with auto brake.
Think about how your family may expand during the time you own this family car. Are you planning on having more children? Make sure you can fit two or three car seats or booster seats in the car. Will you be adding pets to your family? Check that you can fold down the back seat, or fit your animals in the back. A two-door coupe is not going to be very functional as a family car, with children having to squeeze in and out, or a parent having to lean into the back seat to buckle up an infant.
As children age and grow, their needs will change. If your family grows too, your car will need to keep up with your family’s needs. A small family will fit just fine in a four-door sedan, but a larger family who often camps and attends sporting events will need extra space for extra people and equipment.
A smooth-talking car salesman could try to convince you to stretch your budget. Before you look at cars, know what your family can afford. A vehicle as essential as a family car is not a purchase to be taken lightly; this vehicle will transport your family everywhere they need to go, taking you and the kids to school, appointments, soccer games, and on road trips throughout their childhood. It is an important purchase and worth investing in, but keep your future financial needs in mind.
Aside from sticker price, look at how affordable the car is to run. Factor gas into your decision – not only the cost of how much fuel you will need to use each month, but also consider what type of fuel best suits your family needs. Eventually, your car will need maintenance, so add those costs to your budget. Find out how much insurance will cost for your desired car. Know what you can afford to pay when buying a car, and how much it will cost to run it.
Look at the size of the trunk, and how much room you might have if you needed to fold down the back seats. Make sure this space is big enough to fit whatever you may need to stow in the car. If you plan on bringing a double stroller along in the trunk, for example, make sure it actually fits easily and safely.
Know what you will be using the car for, and how much space is needed for your activities. Active families or large families with lots of children will need more storage space. Your lifestyle and family size will determine if you need to look for a vehicle with a large amount of storage space.
What The Kids Want
A family car is meant to keep the family safe and comfortable. While size, budget, safety, and storage are top priorities, what the kids themselves really need is important, too. They will be in the back seat of this car for a while, so make sure that it is somewhere they enjoy.
Kids would get a lot of use out of their own cupholders in the backseat for drinks, snacks, or toys; this feature can also save you from having to clean up messes from spilled drinks on drives. Older children may appreciate temperature controls in the back seats so that they can set their own heat or A/C. A movie or some form of entertainment system to occupy the kids and help pass the time can make family road trips or long drives much easier on everyone.
Buying a family car that will keep your family safe and happy involves a lot of research and test-drives. Not only do you need to find a vehicle that is the right size for your current – or growing – family, but also one that suits your lifestyle and has the extra safety features that will give you peace of mind while traveling with your children. You want to make sure your family car can hold all of the people, pets, and equipment you will need it to carry, while not breaking the budget. Extra features that please the kids will keep everyone happy. If you have a large family, a small family, or are preparing to start your family, buy a car with the kids in mind.