Buying a car can be daunting at the best of times but buying a family car to transport your most prized possessions carries with it an added layer of pressure. When it comes to buying a car you want to be sure you are getting the best your money can buy and that it fits all the needs of your family. Here are some tips to help you when undertaking the big step of buying your next family car.
The roads can be a really scary place, especially when transporting your most precious assets in your vehicle. Needless to say, your family car has to be safe. When purchasing a family car you might want to ensure it has some of the following features; ABS – anti-lock braking system, this helps keep control of your car and prevent skidding, which is one of the most common causes of accidents. Traction control helps to prevent your wheels from over spinning and to gain traction on slippery surfaces. You might also want to consider impact protection, side-impact protection, airbags, and side airbags. Another biggy is to ensure your car seat and its ISOFIX connection fits in your chosen vehicle.
It goes without saying breaking down on route to your family holiday and standing on the hard shoulder, probably in the rain, is nobody’s idea of a good time. Of course, there will be the unforeseen and even the most reliable of vehicles can let us down from time to time but there are things you can do to ensure the reliability of your family car. Do your research, when searching cars for sale, check the dealer reviews, is it a reputable garage? Are they long-standing? Purchasing from reputable dealers will also ensure you have consumer protection should problems arise.
Once you have purchased your car, keep it maintained, have regular services, and an MOT. Don’t wait for something to be broken or completely worn before fixing it. If at your service you’re told the discs and pads are nearly worn, change them. Don’t wait for them to actually go. The same applies to your tyre tread, change it before it is illegal don’t wait for it.
Photo credit; Jameet Singh from Pexels
Life is expensive, having a family is expensive, so the last thing you want is running your family car to be expensive too. Consider the day-to-day running costs. Some older, high emission cars are generally higher in tax, as much as £500.00 per year whereas some of the greener, new cars aren’t even required to pay road tax or can be as little as £20-£30 per year. Consider your insurance bands, smaller engines generally mean smaller insurance and mileage per gallon. Are you just driving around the local area or on long stretches? Would a petrol engine actually be more economical than a diesel car? Perhaps you want to consider a hybrid vehicle. Hybrid cars can offer you lower fuel costs and lower tax. If you’re not driving hundreds of miles regularly chances are you don’t need a diesel car and petrol or hybrid would be much better suited to your needs.
There is no getting away from the issue of the size of your family car. How big (or small) a car do you actually need? Is the boot space big enough? Can you fit the pram, the shopping, the suitcases and EVERYTHING else you need? Can you fit all the car seats in? Do you need 7 seats? There are plenty of 7 seater options available, some additional seats are optional and fold down when they are not needed so you have larger boot space. 5 doors are infinitely easier than 3 doors, especially with small children who cannot put themselves in their seats. Higher cars are also more practical, and less back-breaking, when loading small children into their car seats. Of course the bigger the car the bigger the price tag, usually, again do your research well.
5. Just for fun
Today’s newer cars usually come complete with the latest technology including, Sat Nav (pretty common), DAB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and wireless mobile charging. Absolute lifesavers on long journeys. For those of you who parent tweens and teens, you will no doubt know of the flat battery stress and the no mobile data panic. Wi-Fi cars are the future.