Buying a car is never a decision that should be taken lightly. After all, it is a serious financial investment, and on top of that, most people don’t have the money to buy a new car every year, so it’s generally quite a commitment. Of course, when you’re looking for a family car, various other factors may influence your decision, as there are many other things to consider. So, how do you know when you’ve found the right family car? We’re here to help you find the answer to that question, so keep reading.
Consider your budget
The first thing you need to consider when looking for a family car is how much you can spend on it. Sure, having a seven-seat van may be ideal, but not everyone can afford that. Are you looking for an entry-level car, or something more luxurious? It’s a good idea to decide on a budget, and then visit local dealerships to get a better idea of what you can get in your price range. For example, visiting a BMW dealership in Glendale, AZ may give you an idea of what an upmarket vehicle will cost you.
Safety, safety, safety
Safety in a car is always one of the most important aspects, but even more so when it’s a family car. It’s one thing to drive an unsafe car if you’re by yourself (though it’s still not recommended), but now you have other people to think about. if you have kids, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the car you use is safe. It can be very easy to pull a certain make and model’s safety specs from the internet, so you should spend some time canceling out any cars that have proven themselves as unsafe.
Research monthly expenses
You may be able to afford the actual car itself, but keep in mind that you may also have additional monthly expenses. Of course, fuel will likely cost you quite a bit, and that’s something you should consider when looking for a family car, as some cars are very heavy on fuel, meaning you’ll be filling it up more regularly and this spending more money each month. Another factor to consider is your insurance premium. While there are many factors that may influence your car insurance rate, some cars are classified as high risk for theft or damage, which would naturally make your insurance cost you more each month.
Is it a long or short-term commitment?
Ideally, one would want to drive a car for a couple of years before replacing it, so that you can save on certain costs. That being said, it’s not always realistic. Maybe your kids will be going off to college in a year or two, and then you won’t need as big a car. Or maybe you plan on having more children in the future, in which case you’ll need a bigger car. Either way, whether you plan on driving this car for a long or short period will affect the car you get. For example, if you know you’ll only be driving it for a few years at most, you might be willing to get a cheaper car with more miles on it. But if you want to drive it for many, many years to come, you’ll likely be willing to spend a bit more on a better car.
Look at packing space
We often look at the inside of a car and think that our whole family will fit in the car, so it’s big enough. However, that is not always the case. Think about it – you’ll need to have space for everyone’s work briefcases and school bags, as well as sports gear or musical instruments if someone in your family has an extra-curricular. Then, of course, you need to consider whether it will make a good holiday car. Baby-friendly holidays are great, but they will be a hassle if you can’t fit everything in your car.
Does it have extra features?
Aside from the car itself, some cars have extra features that may be appealing for your family. For example, if your family likes camping or going on adventures, you might want a strong car that has the ability to tow heavy things. Or perhaps you spend a lot of time on the road, so you’d prefer a car that offers more in terms of entertainment – for example, a good quality Bluetooth stereo system, or small TV screens in the back to keep your children occupied. You need to decide whether you want your car to have any of these extra features and whether it is worth it to pay extra for them.
How easy is it to clean?
Look, we all know that how a car looks isn’t the part that matters – safety and cost efficiency are obviously much more important. That being said, family cars are often used to transport children, and children often make things dirty. Certain seats, such as leather seats, may be much easier to clean than other types of seats. While this shouldn’t make or break your decision, if you can get a car that’s easier to clean, you should consider it. While you will likely need to clean your car quite often anyway, that doesn’t mean you want to be doing it more often than necessary.
How many people can fit into it?
Some families may require two cars in order to fit everyone in, but if you’re only planning on having one family car, it’s vital that your entire family can fit in safely and comfortably. This means that no one should be sitting on anyone else’s lap: everyone should have their own seat and seatbelt. For many families, a standard car will easily fit everyone, but if you have more than five members in your family, this may narrow the field quite drastically. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t rush into anything – take your time to find the right car for your family instead of just buying the first one you find.