There comes a time in one’s life when you have to consider other people’s needs in front of your own when choosing a car. Perhaps you are about to start a family or your family has recently expanded and you have children and other family members to ferry around.
Maybe your old jalopy no longer feels like a safe ride for your kids or you need more space for a car seat… Whichever the case, there are several factors to consider when you find yourself asking ‘Which is the perfect car for me?’ Here’s a guide on how to choose a car you will love.
1. Define Your Budget
When looking for the best car for your family, one of the most important things to consider is your financial situation. Defining how much you are willing and/or able to spend on the car helps you narrow down your options. It also influences how you choose to pay.
Once you have settled on your overall budget, you will need to decide on the amount of down payment you are comfortable putting down. This will directly influence how long you will be paying for the car before it’s fully yours.
Before deciding on this, it’s advisable that you talk to an account, car financier or your financial advisor. They will help you make a more informed decision on how much you can afford to pay on a monthly basis.
2. Choosing Between a New and a Used Car
When pitting used (preowned) cars against new cars, start by checking what falls within your budget. This way, you are able to manage expectations. A new car might cost you more but with good care and service, it is bound to serve you for longer.
If you’re looking for a specific car model, getting a used one might be easier. However, with used cars, quality should be an immediate concern. You do not want to exhaust your budget with repair fees, in the future.
Take your time as you do your search to avoid being overwhelmed by information.
3. Family Car Features
A good family car does not compromise on quality and space. Consider your family members’ individual needs such as legroom and the available number of seats.
Will you need an entertainment system for your kids, for instance? Is a sound system for those road trips and drives to school important to you? Simple things such as cup holders or darker colors and shades in your interiors (they are easier to clean and hide stains better if you have toddlers) can make a world of difference.
Take a closer look at the protective features put in place in the design of the car as well. This will be your primary mode of transportation for you and your loved ones so you want to be assured of their security on the road.
4. The Car’s Size
When choosing a family car, the car’s size should be directly proportional to the size of your family. There are different models that cater for different family sizes. A sedan, for instance, would do well for a family of two to five members.
A family of five or more people will be better accommodated in an SUV, a minivan or a station wagon. The best way to ensure that you get the size right is by bringing the whole family for a test drive. Do not forget to ensure that your family car of choice has adequate luggage space for your out of town camping trips.
Whenever you are on the road, you want to be sure your family members are in a good car that will not compromise on their safety. Look up your car model of choice’s safety rating with your local highway safety organization. They are bound to have a database with these ratings, for different car models in the match.
Additionally, you can get statistics on accidents and general safety through doing research on features such as child safety, airbags, and tire options online by simply keying in the car model you are interested in.
Whether it a simple gardening instrument for your lawn or a big decision such as what car to buy for the family, you should never commit to a sale without checking out customer reviews. Look up your family car model of choice online and compare it against other car models in the same category and/or price range.
You may even go a step further and look at the different ways the model has been improved by the manufacturer through the years and how this affects your family’s needs. These specifications, ratings, reviews and consumer feedback can be found on the manufacturer’s website, car blogs, and consumer reports.
Where possible, get a pre-purchase inspection done on the car by a trusted or independent professional to ensure you are getting value for your money.
7. Car Dealership or Manufacturer
While most people will opt to buy a car from their local dealership and leave it at that sometimes, buying your car directly from the manufacturer might be a better choice for you. Compare the two options and see which one offers you a better price or better financing options.
Inquire whether there are extra benefits such as free servicing, a partnership with your insurance provider and so on. However, it is important to note that some states will require you to go through a dealership, even when you are ordering your family car of choice.
How to Choose a Car That Will Serve You Best
Before setting on a specific model as the best car for your family, do your research so you can make an informed decision. There’s no predetermined formula on how to choose a car so take time and weigh out your options. Having the right family car is bound to improve on your ease of movement, comfort and your interactions with your family members.
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