There are a few things to bear in mind when it comes to buying a family car. Shopping for a vehicle that fits the desires of a whole family is a totally different ball game to looking for a car just for yourself as you have to take into account how your new car will fit the requirements of your entire family.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the important factors to keep in mind when shopping for a vehicle that fits the needs of your family.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is how much space you need in your car. Over all, a small family may need nothing more than a standard five seater car, but a family with several children or a busy schedule may need space to accommodate additional passengers or additional luggage. Figure out what you intend to use the vehicle for and how much extra space you will need in the event that you are going with the entire family on a road trip.
A family car with adequate space does not only mean you can accommodate everyone on a road trip, but that your passengers will be comfortable the entire journey.
Newer vehicles typically come with better safety features. This, however, doesn’t suggest older models aren’t very safe and shouldn’t be considered. But whatever your family vehicle type preference, always look out for these two key features:
Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), and Forward-Collision Warning (FCW).
Crash Test Performance
You’ll want to learn what the crash test data is for the car you’re looking at. You can check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to get this stats if you are in the UK. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides comprehensive crash test reports on all vehicles types and models.
On the other hand, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety checks both how well a car protects its passengers in a collision and crash prevention, and the mitigation technologies which help the occupants avoid a crash or minimise its impacts.
In the UK and most countries in Europe, the European New Car Assessment Programme can provide you with details about the car crash rating of the family vehicle you are considering.
If your vehicle’s incorporated AI detects another car in the lane next to the blind-spot of your vehicle, it should alert you by a brightened light on your side mirror. Some vehicles are also made with a notification system that chimes or vibrates to warn the driver they’re about to move to an already occupied lane. This is called Lane-Departure Warning (LDW), which is designed to alert a driver to take immediate corrective action to prevent a collision, crash or off-road accidents.
These features are ideal for a family car especially if you will be on the road most times with your children.
Many cars come with carpeted flooring and fabric upholstery. They are washable, but if you want more easily cleanable options, then go for alternatives such as rubber flooring, and leather or vinyl upholstery.
There are cars with those types of durable interiors but if the one you have your eyes on does not, you can always get it fitted with after-market upgrades.
Families are often on the road these days, visiting relatives or going on vacation. There’s also the usual back and forth commuting to work, school and camp outings for the kids. So it makes sense that families should opt for vehicles with good fuel economy.
As you search for the perfect vehicle for you and your family, make sure to take a close look at the gas mileage of the options that grab your attention. So keep this in mind when making your final choice.
According to statistics, 59 children lost their lives in 2016 because vehicle drivers didn’t see them and backed over them. This number has declined in recent years, partly vehicles produced from 2018 are now compulsorily fitted with rear-view cameras.
The feature makes reversing vehicles safer as the camera sensors immediately detect if anyone or anything is in your path as you back up; and you can actually see in the camera who or what’s behind you.
You don’t have to overlook style simply because you want a vehicle that is safe, sturdy and affordable for the whole family. You’ll find a lot of sedans, minivans and SUV models that are sleek and stylish and fit well with your family’s style.
Some families place a higher value on style than others, so it really depends on you and your family’s tastes. But buying a family vehicle certainly doesn’t mean you’ll be getting a boring and unappealing vehicle.
Budget and Cost
No car purchasing guide is complete without talking about budget and cost. It’s always a good idea to decide and conclude on your budget before going car shopping. You can get an idea of what your target vehicle will cost by checking car prices online, and even though family car dealership are on the decline, you can get a good deal on your choice vehicle by walking into one.
Finally, be sure to carry out a diligent research on your list of options, their features and be clear on their price before visiting a dealership. Don’t forget to also work out your car financing options before going car shopping. There are many ways you can finance a new car including car loans from your bank, credit society and even dealership financing.
Whether you’re shopping for a family vehicle to swap your flashy sports car or you just want something more modern to replace your current ride, the tips above should serve as a useful short guide to help you make an informed decision when buying a new car for the family.