Starting a family is an exciting (and expensive) journey that many couples look forward to. It’s also a journey that leads to changes. Your time and money is no longer your own, your world revolves around tiny human beings who rely on you for everything, all your bags have diapers and a change of clothes (for you and the baby), sleep is a luxury of the past, and you’re likely going to need a new car.
Your parents and parenting books are there to help you with the former. As for the latter, we’re going to discuss what it is you need to look out for when trading in your current car for a family-friendly vehicle.
The first thing you need to look out for is everything within your budget. By trading your car in, you’ll likely have a fair down payment towards your new car which will make paying off a loan more affordable.
But it’s important that you stick to your budget. Children are a continuous monthly expense and the last thing you need is to find yourself in debt over a car loan. Keep your family car search limited to the best pre-owned car dealerships that can offer you the best deals. Take time in making your decision so that you can compare quotes between used car dealerships, and choose the one who offers the most for your trade-in and the least for your family car-to-be.
Affordability is also determined in terms of fuel consumption. As your family grows, there will be more drop-off and pick-up points throughout the day and you’ll be spending most of your day driving around. Because fuel has become so expensive, it’s important to find a vehicle from an approved car dealership that is economical on fuel.
Space for now and for future
As for the vehicle itself, an important aspect of a family car is the space it offers. If you’d like to be able to grow into this car, you need to make sure there’s enough space to cater your first and future children.
Car seats need to fit safely and comfortably in the backseats of your vehicle. You should also keep in mind that it’s recommended for children to use car seats up to the age of 12-years-old (depending on their height and size as well). The type of car seat will change, but it will still take up extra space that you’ll, otherwise, lose if your car isn’t spacious enough to cater for the rest of the family.
You will also need adequate boot-space to carry all the baby and eventually school and extra-mural bags with your grocery shopping as well. Three-row SUVs are usually a popular family car choice for this reason.
Children enjoy leaving their hands and fingers in dangerous places and if they aren’t slammed in a car door, they get stuck in the car’s closing electric window. To prevent any damage from happening when you try to wind their window up from your electric window control in the front (so that you can put the window-lock back on), you need your windows to have an auto-reverse function.
This way, the window will sense when something is about to be squashed and immediately rolls back down when it comes into contact with, for argument’s sake, your child’s finger. This will save you from having to deal with crocodile tears and doctors visits, as well as teach your child to keep their limbs in the car at all times.
Driver-assist safety features
There is already so much to concentrate on as a driver on the roads. But as a parent driving with a kid in the car, there’s even more to focus on. It’s easy to be distracted by your child and making sure they’re okay or not permanently damaging the state of your leather seats with their eating methods.
And while there’s no excuse for taking your eyes off of the road, it’s instinctual to look at your child in the rearview mirror or turn around to check on them when there’s a chance something might be wrong. Your child’s safety is the main concern and, therefore, your car’s safety features need to be on par with the latest models’.
A few safety features to look out for in a family car include blind spot detection, lane departure warnings (and assist), parking assist, front and rear cameras and sensors, collision alert and emergency brake systems.
You know what to look for in a car, now it becomes a matter of browsing suitable vehicles that fall within your price range and, eventually, choosing one to be an integral part of your family.