Don't Go Shopping For A New Family Car Without This Checklist

    Posted by Ben Davidson about 11 days ago

    Once you start a family, it’s time you replaced your current car for one that is better suited to your new life. Now that you have kids, you will need to find a car that provides plenty of space for all your passengers and luggage, while also manages to remain a safe drive. Trying to find a vehicle that ticks both those boxes can be extremely difficult, especially if you have quite a limiting budget. But those aren’t the only two things that you need to look out for in your next family car. In fact, there is a whole range of features that you should find when you need to start transporting the whole gang around with you.


    Ready to go off hunting for a family car? Not so fast! Make sure you don’t leave before having a quick read of this really important checklist. It includes everything that you need to look for when buying a car suitable for the whole family.



    The Car’s Body Style


    Firstly, you need to consider what kind of body style you want in a car. Simply put, what type of car do you want? There are four main types - hatchbacks, SUVs, estates, and MPVs. Here’s a quick round up of what you can expect from each car type.


    • Hatchback
      - Hatchbacks have a trunk that takes up the whole width of the car. So, as you have probably already guessed, they are really good for storage. In fact, the lid of the trunk is often so big that it is often considered an extra door. For this reason, these cars are advertised as three-door or five-door.

    • Thanks to the size of the trunk, it is really easy to lay the back seats down flat. That makes it easier to transport large, bulky items as long as you don’t have any passengers in the rear of the vehicle.
      - This may make hatchbacks sound like gigantic vehicles, but you don’t have to get a large one if you don’t want to. In fact, you can often find very small and compact ones, such as the Ford Fiesta.


    • SUVs
      - SUVs are 4x4 vehicles, so they are a really practical choice if you live in a region that gets a lot of snow in the winter months.
      - As these cars tend to be fairly large and are quite high up the ground, it can be easy to get children in and out of them.


    • Estates
      - If space is your main box you want ticking on your checklist, then you might want to opt for an estate car. You’ll be able to spot them as soon as you start looking around local dealerships as they stand out quite a bit. They are basically just hatchbacks but with a much bigger body. They’re perfect for large families or those of you who love to go off on road trips!


    • MPVs
      - MPS are also known as people carriers. These are great for any families that have more than three children.
      - Some MPVs are so big that they feature an extra row of seats in the middle of the car. Even if you don’t need all of these seats for passengers, you can use them for all your bags and luggage!



    Petrol Vs. Diesel


    Once you have made up your mind about which kind of car body style you want, you will need to make a decision about the type of fuel. This might not seem like such a big deal but it can actually make a big difference to your car finances. Generally speaking, most diesel cars will be a lot more efficient. That means that they won’t use a lot of gas, so you won’t have to constantly go back and forth from the gas station to fill your tank up. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be a lot better for your wallet. That’s because the diesel can be a lot more expensive. So, even though you don’t need to top your tank up as often as with a petrol car, it will be more costly to do so when you do. In most cases, a diesel car will only work out cheaper if you are driving a lot more miles than the average road user per year.



    Safety Features


    I’m sure that safety will be absolutely paramount in helping you make your decision about a new family car. Thankfully, most modern vehicles come ready kitted out with plenty of standard safety features. It might also be possible to ask your dealer if you can have some additional features added onto the car before you get it. In fact, many makes and models of cars will come with added extras if you are willing to pay slightly more for them. So, which safety features is it worth getting? A forward collision warning system is always useful as it can help remind you when you need to brake if you are ever approaching a vehicle in front of you too quickly. No matter how focused you may be when behind the steering wheel, we can all end up distracted for a second or two, and that is all it takes to end up in a collision. You might also want to get a blind spot monitor. This is a system that cleverly scans the rear corners of your car and will illuminate your side mirrors when it detects something in your blind spot that you should be made aware of.



    Space


    If you have a new baby or a toddler in your family, you will probably be on the lookout for a car that is big enough to carry a pram and all your baby supplies as well as all your family. Even if your kids are older than this, it’s still usually a good idea to find a large family car that will provide you with plenty of space. That way, you are never struggling to fit in all your suitcases and luggage whenever you head off on a big family holiday! As I’ve already mentioned, estates, SUVs and MVPs are usually the bigger cars out there, but you can now also find some hatchbacks that are generous with how they use their interior space.



    The Doors


    I bet you weren’t considering the difference in car doors before you read this blog, right? Well, they are something that you should think about quite carefully! That’s because all of the best family cars out there at the minute have wide doors. In fact, if you come across a family car that doesn’t have wide-opening doors, it’s probably best to stay away from it. This is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, it will make it a lot easier for you to install a child’s car seat. But they will also help if you regularly give lifts to elderly family members who might usually struggle to get in and out of a vehicle. Some cars now offer sliding back doors, which can provide you with even better access. However, as these are still a brand new feature, cars that have them can be quite expensive. You just need to ask yourself whether that is an investment that you are willing to make or whether the sliding doors will be an unnecessary feature for your family.


    As you can see, there is a lot to consider before you decide which family car to buy. But as long as you remember all the points in this blog post, you won’t go too far wrong when you make your purchase!


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