If you are buying a car for the family, you may want to forget about those dreams of owning a flash sports car. You are going to have to save this for later in life. Safety and space are two of the most critical factors you will need to bear in mind. You are also going to need to think about fuel efficiency if you plan on taking a lot of long family road trips. With that in mind, read on to discover some top tips on selecting the perfect vehicle for your family.
Think about car usage before buying
It is important to think about what you are going to be using the car for when buying it. If you are merely going to be using the vehicle for taking your children to and from school every day, your requirements are going to be very different when compared with a family that is looking for a vehicle to tour the country in. If the latter applies, you are going to need plenty of space for your luggage, as well as a fuel-efficient model to make sure that your new vehicle does not end up costing you a fortune.
Look for a car with good storage
Clutter can easily multiply when you have children in your car. This is why it is wise to look for a vehicle that has good storage space, enabling you to house the likes of drinks, food, and kid’s toys. You do need to be mindful of underfloor storage compartments, though. While they are can seem useful, if you are not using an Isofix-mounted child car seat, they won’t be able to stand on top of the hollow storage area safely.
Make sure you thoroughly research the vehicle before buying
A lot of people make the mistake of diving right in when it comes to buying a new vehicle. You should never do this, especially if you are looking for a car for your family. You need to make an effort to find out everything there is to know about the vehicle. Take the Subaru Liberty as a prime example. Did you know that there are three different grades of this vehicle – 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, and 3.6R? A lot of people don’t realise this, and they simply dive in without comparing the three models and the differences between them.
For example, the 2.5i Premium has smart key and push start ignition, yet the other vehicles do not have this. It also has heated front seats too. Make sure you are aware of all of the features and choose the best ones for you, for example, you may deem the 2.5i more suitable for your family, as it comes with rear privacy glass, as well as a rear view reverse camera for safer driving.
Look for features that are child and family friendly
This leads on from the former point about researching the vehicle in question thoroughly. You need to look for a car that as a lot of child and family friendly features. This includes the likes of UV-filtering tinted rear windows, which will limit your kids’ sun exposure during lengthy journeys, as well as dark-coloured interiors, which are better at hiding the stains and spills you are inevitably going to get with having young children.
Sliding seats can also be a real positive when you are buying a family car, such as the ones in the Volkswagen Golf SV. This is because you can slide them forward to improve boot space or you can push them back to increase rear legroom. Also, you will bring children closer to the front seats by sliding the rear seats forward, which can make it easier when keeping an eye on them and passing them drinks and such like.
Check Euro NCAP safety ratings
Before you buy a family car, it is also a good idea to check out the Euro NCAP score it has. EURO NCAP ratings rank a car based on child protection and crash safety, and so these scores can be exceptionally helpful when you are trying to select the best family vehicle. Some vehicles will have AEB and other advanced safety systems, which are worth looking out for.
Take your pushchair with you when shopping for a vehicle
It is a good idea to take your pushchair with you when you are car shopping so that you can make sure it fits in the boot with ease. A boot may appear spacious, but if it is not big enough for your pushchair, then it is going to be of little use. Needless to say, you could always buy a new pushchair, but there is often little need to go through such hassle when there are so many different cars available as it is.
Don’t overlook the importance of doors that open wide
Last but not least, the car doors need careful consideration. Needless to say, going for a five-door vehicle over a three-door comes highly recommended. Nevertheless, you should also make sure that the doors at the back open widely enough so that you can get young children in and out of the car, and so you can install a child car seat with ease. This is especially important if you are tall or if you suffer from a bad back. Wide opening doors will make your life much, much easier.
As you can see, there is a lot that needs to be taken into account when choosing a family car. However, if you follow the advice that has been provided above, you should have no trouble finding the perfect car for you and your family. Good luck!