You dream of perfect adulthood with a small family, a beautiful house in the suburbs, and the big SUV where your kids can sit comfortably, and you can hit the road for a long drive. Isn’t this what makes adulthood exciting? Achieving all those ‘firsts’.
While theoretically speaking adulthood and crossing all the milestones is pretty fascinating, it can also be overwhelming at the same time because now you are no longer responsible for yourself; you are also making decisions for people who are dependent on you, so you really can’t afford to make a blunder.
We really don’t mean to scare you, but we want you to make better and informed decisions, especially if it is something as important as buying a car. Buying a car for your family is a high involvement decision because not only your money is at stake, but your family’s safety is too. Therefore, you need to take into account various factors before you finalize one. Plus, today, families can choose from a variety of options; from sedans to SUVs and minivans, the market is filled with a plethora of choices, which are bound to confuse you.
However, we are here to help you out and remind you of all the factors that you need to take into consideration:
1. Your affordability
We really don’t need to point out that your budget is the most crucial factor that determines what type of car you can afford. That’s obvious! However, we do want to remind you that you need to consider costs beyond the initial purchase.
If you are buying it with cash, well and good. However, if you are leasing it, then you need to consider your credit score and how much interest rate you can get on it. If your credit score is better, then your interest payments will be lower. You will also have to cover depreciation charges as well as some taxes.
Apart from the leasing, you also need to factor in the maintenance charges that you will have to bear throughout the life of the car. Expenses can really become huge once free maintenance and warranties are over, which means in the long term, car maintenance costs only increase.
2. Space in the car
According to the US News and World’s 2020 report, some of the best cars that are popular amongst families include SUVs, and it only makes sense because SUVs have a lot more space in them. However, SUVs are expensive, but you can always buy a car that is second hand.
How large your family is mostly what determines what type of car you should buy. If you have just one kid, then it isn’t really an issue. However, in that scenario, also you need to see whether you can accommodate a car seat easily and whether there is enough space in the car to fit in that pram or walking around with your kid in Walmart is going to be a real hassle.
If you have two to three children, then your choice has to be completely different because not all cars can fit in three children comfortably. You don’t necessarily have to go for a full-fledged seven seater if it is not in your budget; you can also consider a compact MPV with five seats that are wide enough and give enough room.
Remember that kids come with a lot of extra things; you need to take an entire bag of things when you are traveling with kids. Plus, if you are going grocery shopping with kids, you need to have enough room to fit in both. So a better idea is to get a car with foldable seats, so there is enough space in the trunk.
3. Safety Features
Whether you are buying an old car or a new one, it is important that you go over all sorts of safety features that come with it, and it is only better if you invest in any extra features that you can. Some features that are absolutely important include automatic door locks, and side air bags or advanced frontal air bags.
Some parents also give importance to rearview cameras and features such as interior trunk release and whether or not the car has an active collision prevention system.
There are several independent companies that rate cars based on their safety, so you can always read up their reports or get your car evaluated by them.
So there are a lot of stylish cars that you can buy, but when it comes to family, you need to keep safety in mind first.
The interior of the car also plays an important role because when you have kids around, you really can’t avoid a mess, and neither can you forbid them from not having a snack. So you have to be prepared for all the wear and tear that your car will go through.
When buying a car with kids, it is always a better idea to choose a car with dark upholstery or a fabric that is easier to clean, such as leather. Remember, there will be a lot of messy fingerprints, instances of spilled milk as well as muddy footprints. So if you don’t want to spend a lot on car cleaning, choose the right material, to begin with.
Make an informed decision
Choosing the right car is not an easy feat. However, it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming and confusing, either. You need to do your homework and make a checklist of what is important for you. What works for someone, might not work for you.
These are some of the most important features that you need to consider before buying a family car. There are other frills and perks that come with expensive cars, such as a good entertainment system so that your kids don’t annoy you and remain occupied on long drives. However, this totally depends on how much you can afford.