Thursday, 24 March 2016

What To Look For In A Family Car

Friends of mine have had a baby in recent weeks, and they have been talking about getting a new car. It brought me back to when I had a young child, and I remember the sheer terror of driving with her in the back. The roads are scary enough when you are out on your own, let alone with a precious bundle of joy strapped up in the back!

Of course, for most people with families, the last thing you want to spend money on is a new car, and the only set of wheels you think about are the ones on a buggy. But, making sure you have a vehicle ready for the extra baggage that comes with young children will make your life easier, I guarantee!. Here are a few things to look out for when you are buying a family car.

Safety first

The first step is to look for the safest vehicle possible - it almost goes without saying. You want to avoid old, rusty motors like the plague. But, even the paper thin cheap and modern models won’t give you much more confidence. My advice is to check out the Euro NCAP website. They list all the safest cars available on the road, with the highest being given a five-star grading.

You should also be aware of your responsibilities, too. Make sure you are having a service once a year so that your car doesn’t develop any major issues. It’s a good idea to source some cheap tyres as spares, too. Keep one in your vehicle at all times so that you can switch it over if you get a puncture on the roads. Nothing is worse than being stuck in the middle of nowhere with an unhappy baby late at night!


Another big issue to look out for is space. You might have got along fine in a Smart car for the last five years, but you need a lot of room in your car from the moment you have kids. Buggies, toys, sterilisation equipment - it all takes up an awful lot of room.

A hatchback might prove to be a wise move, and if you have several children, think about a seven seater. You can put the back two seats down and create a lot of boot space with these cars. It’s also worth investing in a roof box and bar rails. Again, this is a little more expense, but for any long journeys or days out, they will be a blessing.

Car seats

Finally, you have a legal obligation to put your children in a car seat. It’s worth investing a bit here, as buying second hand can often lead to problems. Car seats have expiry dates, and you need those guarantees they are safe. Buying new will give you a level of confidence you just won’t get otherwise, even if it’s more expensive.

Your kids will be in their seats until they are twelve years old, or reach a certain height. And, as they grow from baby age through to tween, they will need bigger seats. Check out the government’s info on child car seats for a detailed look at what to expect.

OK, so there you have it - a few simple tips for you. Good luck with the car hunt - and stay safe out there!

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