As your family grows, your lifestyle needs will change. That is also evident in the car that you drive, amongst many other things. For example, you may have driven a small hatchback before you started a family. But now you need to get a car more appropriate to your current lifestyle needs (and fitting pushchairs in)! When it comes to selecting a family car, it’s important to choose the best one for your requirements. The good news is you’ll find scores of different models on the market that you could buy. Of course, the hard bit is choosing one!
In today’s blog post, I will give you ten top tips to help you make the right decision. When buying a car, it’s crucial that you make an informed decision. It’s especially important when buying a family car. That’s because you need to think about the needs of your passengers too (i.e. your family).
Without further ado, check out the ten tips:
- Don’t always get tempted to trade your car in
Before you go out and start looking for a new family car, there’s one thing you must not do. I am, of course, talking about part-exchanging your car with the new one! Anyone will tell you that the money you get will be lower than what you’d make on a private sale.
It makes more sense to use AutoTrader or some other classifieds website to sell your car. That way, you’ve got more money to put towards your new pride and joy. And you’ll have more choice on the market too. If you are desperate to use it as a deposit, just know that you might not be getting the best deal.
- Make a list of your safety needs
It goes without saying that your new family car should be as safe as possible for you and your passengers. Don’t buy a vehicle that offers mediocre safety features! Instead, be savvy and make a list of the features that are most important to you.
For instance, driver and passenger airbags might be high up on your list of safety needs. As might a collision avoidance system or adaptive cruise control.
- Five or seven seats: which is enough?
You might not know it, but it’s possible to get family cars that offer up to seven seats! The Vauxhall Zafira and Citroen C4 Grand Picasso are two such examples. If you have three children, for example, the extra seats will come in handy.
The good thing about seven-seaters is you can fold down the seats when they aren’t in use. That gives you extra boot space for carrying bigger volumes of cargo.
- Choose the right engine for your vehicle
As with most cars, you can select from a range of different engine options. Most parents buy diesel family cars because of their fuel economy advantages. Tech-savvy ones may prefer hybrids or even electric models.
It’s important that you select the engine type you feel most happiest with. For instance, some people may prefer petrol family cars because they are cheaper to fix. Hybrids offer drivers the best of both worlds and can be useful if you only drive short distances.
- Estate, MPV or SUV. Which is best?
Only you can answer that question. The type of vehicle you get should fit in with your lifestyle needs. Estates are generally smaller in volume than MPVs or SUVs. But, they are smaller and often easier to drive. Especially for those that aren’t that interested in driving larger cars.
MPVs or people carriers offer plenty of head and legroom for drivers and passengers. And SUVs have a more sporty appearance. I recommend taking one car from each type out for a test drive. That way, you will know which one feels the most comfortable.
- Set a budget
Once you’ve sold your car (see tip one), you’ll have a better idea of what you can afford. As you can appreciate, some cars cost more than others. Your budget will be the money you can afford to spend on your next family car.
It’s important not to exceed that amount. That’s because you could end up in a financially-crippling situation! In general, older and smaller cars will be the cheapest. While newer and bigger models will cost you more money.
- Decide whether to buy or lease your next family car
Following on from the tip above, you should also think about how you’re going to pay for your car. Will you be using cash, or are you planning to borrow the money?
If the latter applies to you, the good news is you can borrow the money from different sources. Did you know, for example, you can use a personal loan to fund your next car purchase? Sometimes you may even find that unsecured loans are cheaper than conventional car leasing!
- Do plenty of online research before you leave home
The Internet is wonderful. It brought you to this blog for a start! But, it’s also a brilliant research tool when looking for car model reviews. You shouldn’t buy a family car just on the features that it boasts. You should also look at reviews from real owners of those models.
That way, you can gauge whether your chosen model will offer good value for money. The last thing you want is to end up with a lemon!
- Go for plenty of test drives
You need to feel happy about the car you’re about to spend a few grand buying! There’s no point getting drawn to a model that has plenty of acclaim if you hate driving it!
It’s crucial that you go on test drives. Especially if you’re planning to buy a used vehicle. You want to make sure that you iron out any problems with the car you wish to buy from the dealer. For instance, if there’s an engine problem, you want to make sure it gets fixed before you buy the vehicle.
- Don’t forget to negotiate
Last, but not least, you should haggle on the price of the car you want. That applies to both used AND new cars! You should never pay the price a seller is asking. You want to get the car as cheap as possible.