Deciding to buy a car for your growing family can begin to seem like a juggling act. Do I go for a vehicle that will help me get around right now? Or, should I plan for when we have another kid? What about when the kids grow up? Is the car going to be roomy enough?
In short, you have room, cargo space, price, and safety considerations that you need to make. So, how do you look at all the aspects? By keeping our checklist at hand to assist you through this purchase, that’s how:
Begin by deciding the space your growing family will require
Whichever vehicle you shortlist, start by figuring if it offers enough space for more than one child. Don’t just plan for the kid you have now to sit comfortably. Think if the car will accommodate more than the single offspring? Doing so now will save you money later since you won’t have to spend on another car for some time.
But space doesn’t just mean seating. You should also be looking at the typical amount of cargo your car will hold. After all, with the kids comes the other stuff. You will be stowing strollers and bags when the kids are small. And things like luggage and groceries will also require space in the back. Consider both types of space.
Then decide about safety
Prospective family cars must come with a five-star NHTSA rating. Moreover, the child seat should have safety features like anchor points. Besides that, don’t buy a car that doesn’t have airbags, gives lane change warnings, or reverse cameras.
Eye the rear doors too. They will be the point of entry you use when you want to fit a child seat. They’d also be where you dump the armful of groceries you buy. So, going for a family car that makes loading easier would be a smart idea. One with rear doors that open very wide should work.
Additionally, Ford offers Door Edge Protectors. They’re a great feature that protects your car’s doors against enthusiastic kid hands. The protectors ensure there will be no damage to the paint or the car parked next to yours!
Factor in primary use case
When your gaze lands on an SUV, you may be tempted to purchase it right then. Thoughts of family road trips and picnics with the kids may swarm your mind. But set them aside and get into the primary use case mindset.
Think about the main reason you use your vehicle for right now. Do you really go for a day trip every other weekend? If your car doesn’t have that lifestyle now, it’s unlikely that it will happen once you have kids. Therefore, go for a car that will be adequate for the milk runs and dropping off the kids to school. Sure, an SUV has more passenger space, but paying for the 4WD is simply overkill and will cost more than you need to spend.
And travel forth in time
How will your family be different in five years? If you have a baby and a dog now, you may consider adding more members to your clan in that time. Even if you don’t, the baby will grow up. You may be driving around a pre-teen soon – and their friends during carpool.
Thus, think ahead and opt for a fuel-friendly vehicle, such as a sub-compact. Choose a car that will make as much sense to you five years later as it does now.
Now come to the affordability factor
Maybe you don’t find the cost of raising a baby too much at the moment. But there will be times when you begin to feel the pinch. With babies come other expenses, so the budget becomes even more of a priority for you.
How is that related to buying a car, you ask? We’d recommend picking a car with payments that amount to less than 20 percent of the salary you – and your partner – bring home.
Compare after you go looking for financing
There’s a big chance that you won’t have savings that you can buy your car with. Therefore, before you even step into a showroom, get your financing approved. That may surprise you. But here’s why it will be useful: you will have the budget clear in your mind when you do walk into a car yard.
What helps is that you go through reputable comparison websites first. Then you will have an idea about how much the vehicle you prefer will cost. Now, contact your usual bank. Use the leverage,the information you collected gives you to get a great deal from your financial institution. And don’t forget to ask for discount interest rates.
Get ready to walk away
Sure, a car may seem perfect for you. It ticks all those boxes we mentioned above. But it stands just out of budget. What do you do then? You make your offer and then walk away if the dealership doesn’t meet it. The salesperson might change their mind. Or, you may find similar redline cars within your budget at online portals like Autocoincars.
Additionally, you may find that a dealer makes a reasonable offer right at the beginning. In that case, don’t commit before you have the expected running costs in mind. For instance, comprehensive car insurance won’t be a part of that price. And you’ll need the right type suited to your circumstances. Some insurance providers will provide discounts if only one driver handles the car.
Take the potential family car out
This is important if you want to know how your preferred vehicle will perform in real-life situations. Bring in the whole family for that trip. This will show you how easy it was to get to the kids once they are secured in the backseat. You can also find out how much luggage fits in the back.
And that brings your checklist for buying a car for a growing family to an end. We’d reiterate that you shouldn’t pay before completing it!
About Ashley Rosa: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her at twitter: @ashrosa2.