We just bought a newly used family vehicle last April before our youngest was born.
Family cars, arguably more so than any other kind of vehicle, are important to get right. They tend to get a lot more use than cars for couples or singletons, so have to be able to withstand a ton of usage.
You’ll be taking the kids to school and football training, taking yourself to work, taking the family to the cinema and bowling… the list goes on. As such, when you’re buying, you have a lot to consider to make sure you make the right purchase.
So, without further ado, here are some things to bear in mind when choosing that brand new family ride!
Can you deactivate the front passenger airbag?
You may need to fit a rear-facing child seat in the front of the car. So, it’s vital that you have the ability to turn off the front passenger airbag. This isn’t the first place you should be putting a child seat, but it’s understandable that sometimes the need arises. Contact the manufacturer or ask the dealer if you aren’t sure which cars have this feature.
What’s the weight of the vehicle?
More weight equals more stress on the car and tyres. If it’s a massive family car, then you could have five or six people in it at any one time.
This can quickly reduce tyre pressure and wear them down, so if you can, buy the lightest vehicle possible. A site like tyres.theaa can offer you advice on tyre law, but in general, they need to be fully pumped and the tread needs to be well maintained. Buying a light family car, factoring in the amount of bodies that could be in it at any one time, will minimise the stress the tyres receive.
Any features built with kids in mind?
Of course, it’s vital that your car has a child-lock. Most modern rides do so it’s unlikely you’ll have to shop around for this.
Rear facing DVD screens are also a good idea too, so check if the car has the relevant sockets and plug holes. If the car doesn’t come built in with them, you can always buy them later on from somewhere like halfords.dvd-players.
Choosing a car with darker interiors would be a great idea too, as this can hide the spills and stains that kids tend to provide.
Plenty of space for luggage and general items?
When you’re off on your family holidays, you’ll need to be able to pack pretty much everything under the sun. You may need at least four suitcases, entertainment for the kids, snacks, drinks and sun cream. So, weigh up your needs versus the cost and space of the car.
Realistically, can it cover you in every scenario? Can it take you on holiday and carry your weekly shop every Sunday? Some cars have folding down seats, so factor this in too. If you go shopping by yourself, you won’t need those seats so you can fold them safely.
I hope this advice was of some use to you, and thanks very much for reading! Leave a comment below with your experiences shopping for a family car.