Buying a Family Car

Things Parents Must Know Before They Go Car Shopping

A car is one of the most expensive purchases a person makes throughout their life. While it can be a daunting task at any stage of life, it can be particularly difficult during the early stages of parenthood. 

Now that you’re a parent, you’ll have to relegate the priorities of your pre-child life to the backseat. Gone are the days when you prioritized horsepower, sound systems, and aesthetics. Instead, it would be best if you focused more on budget, family functionality and, of course, safety.

Things Parents Must Know Before They Go Car Shopping

For a parent, the most important thing is something that shuttles every member of the family safely. 

But going on this adventure isn’t easy. 

Here’s how you can get started on your hunt. 

The Size of the Vehicle

Start your search by finding the right-sized vehicle.

Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) are often the most popular choice for families since they offer versatility and higher ground clearance.

These cars come in various sizes. A mini SUV has just four seats, while a large one has room for eight passengers. 

Be it an SUV or another big car, getting a spacious car can offer some future insurance.

So when you’re buying a car, ask yourself: “will this car suit my future family? Will it suit them as they get bigger?

The Car’s Interior

A car seat covered in cloth is standard, and they’re also gentler on the budget. However, upgrading to a wipeable (and sleeker) material can be a good idea if you’re hoping to stick to your purchase for a while. 

Cleaning up leather is easier when you have kids. While it can be a tad bit expensive, it can save you from annoying smells and mysterious stains in the long run. 

The Space

Remember: the car’s size and its space are two different considerations parents need to make. Just because a car is an 8-seater doesn’t mean it’s going to have ample space for eight humans.

Apart from the car’s width, assess the front-to-back space. 

How far does the front seat have to be so that the people in the front can ride comfortably? Is there enough legroom for the people in the back seat?

The Car’s Safety Systems

Car safety technology has made giant leaps (the all-new Mitsubishi Outlander is a great example). Meaning now is a great time to buy a car.

Blind-spot warning sensors, backup cameras, parking sensors are just some of the safety features that take rider security to the next level. Even though backup cameras have now become standard, other safety features are hard to come by.

However, if you see certain safety features are worth springing for if you find them in a car. 

Automatic braking, for instance, can detect the car’s speed in front of you and can automatically stop your car to avoid a crash.

Blind-spot warnings can notify you if a car passes through your blind spots with a flashing light on your car’s side mirror.

Adaptive cruise control can help adjust the car’s speed once you’ve set the cruise. 

The Dealership

If you’re to make a deal that isn’t optimal, then walk into a dealership, look at a model from a manufacturer, make an estimate of what you can afford, and buy the car right there and then.

However, if you want to ensure you have the best deal within your budget, do some online research before going to the dealership. 

Several websites can give you expert reviews of all current vehicles, customer-owner reviews, transaction price data, the cost to own, and estimates of your car’s current value.

With all these data points, you can better understand what you should aim to buy and how much you’ll have to pay.

Moreover, don’t undermine valuable lists like the Top 10s and the award winners. They can simplify your research immensely. 

The Car’s Seats

While people love SUVs for their extra seating options, not all cars offer the same luxury as seating capacity. Meaning, it’s best you consider how many boosters and buckets you’ll have to strap in before you go car shopping.

While every car built after September 2002 has pre-installed latch systems, not every seat in your car needs to have them. 

Before you buy a car, ensure you check how many have latches. If you’re considering getting a car with a third row, you must also remember that children can only sit safely in those seats if they have latches at the back, on the floor, or under the seat.

Several cars may not have this feature, so it’s best to do your research before getting a car. 

Electric Vehicles?

While these cars aren’t easy on the wallet, they should be on your list if going green is a priority for you. The first step is familiarizing yourself with the category’s alphabetical soup.

The most common electric vehicles you’ll find are Hybrid Electric Vehicles or HEVs. These use a combination of battery power and gas to reduce carbon emissions. 

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) use the same combination, but you can recharge their batteries by plugging them into an energy source. When you’re out of battery, the gas fuels the engine. 

Battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs) are true electric vehicles. They don’t have any fuel tanks and rely solely on the car’s batteries. You can juice them at an in-home charging station or a public charging dock. If you are interested in buying electric cars, Make sure you have the budget and list of the best electric cars in Australia for you to choose from.

Wrapping Up

Car shopping doesn’t always have to be a drag, and it can be a fun experience, too! However, it is something you need to take seriously if you’re shopping with a growing family.

It all comes down to your being honest with yourself. 

No matter how much you love the car’s look, you don’t want to kick yourself for picking a car that does not suit your family. 

While you don’t have to feel scared, you do need to be careful. Take your kids along with you and make a family experience. They can have useful feedback too!

Happy shopping!