At a certain age, every parent becomes a glorified taxi company. Only, we don’t get paid for the pleasure! If you’ve got a family of little ones, a car is absolutely necessary. They need taking to school, dropping off at art classes, and picking up again. Not only that, but you need a comfortable, practical car yourself. Running errands and getting to work requires a good, reliable motor. If you’re in the market for a new model, here are just a few things you need to know.
Up front costs
It’s never easy to add up the costs of buying a car. You can start by researching the market, and seeing what’s out there. Even then, the sticker prices are flexible, and it’s always worth negotiating the price. Before you get too excited about your discount, remember, the costs don’t end there. You’ll also need to budget for dealership fees and potential transportation charges. Bear in mind, if you use an enclosed carrier for delivery of your new vehicle, it will cost more.
Next up on the budget chart and spreadsheet is your running costs. Again, they’re not easy to calculate, and every new car is different. Once you’ve got a make and model in mind, you can find out the particular tax and insurance costs. (These vary according to size, make, and emissions of every car). Insurance will also take into account your personal information and circumstances. Don’t forget to calculate a rough average for petrol, parking, and general maintenance.
Choosing the right size
Once you’ve got your accounts in order, it’s time to think about specifics. What size vehicle best suits your family? For smaller families, a hatchback is more than adequate. We’re talking about the average Ford Focus or Vauxhall Polo, for example. If you’ve got a bigger family who need more seating and storage space, you might consider an SUV or 4×4. For families with more than three children, it’s probably best to look at the people carriers!
Wide doors and stadium seating
As well as sheer size, it’s also worth looking at the practicality of each vehicle. If you’ve got young toddlers or babies, look for wide doors and stadium seating. Wide doors help you get easy access to the back. That means you can strap them in properly, and get easy access to install booster seats. As for stadium seats, these are raised rear seating, so that the children will sit higher than usual. It helps with car sickness, and easy access to the back.
Perhaps the most important feature of all is safety. When it comes to your family, there is nothing more important than their security in the car. Every model is tested and rated by an independent crash test company. And every car receives a star rating out of five. Look for four-star cars, and five-star if possible. In particular, look for a vehicle with a good ‘child-occupancy’ rating.
That’s all for now, folks! Check back soon for more tip-top parenting and life advice.