Families come in all shapes and sizes and, to accommodate this, so do their cars. As your family changes, your transport will need to change alongside it. Whether this is an expansion for a new baby or a puppy, a downgrade after your children have moved out, or a lifestyle change, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to buying a new family car.
Safety, space and comfort are three necessities to emphasise while you shop. Of course, you don’t have to take small loans to buy the perfect vehicle, but it is worth identifying what’s important to you and not taking shortcuts when it comes to protecting a healthy, happy family on the road.
The most apparent, do-not-overlook-me feature of your new family car should be its safety rating. It makes sense to purchase a vehicle with the highest safety rating possible – a five-star ANCAP rating. The Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) offers an accurate indicator of how safe a vehicle is.
Emergency braking, ABS, proximity sensors, lane-keeping assist, reverse cameras, and wall-to-wall airbags are the features of a vehicle with five stars. These features will help prevent a crash first; however, should there be a crash, they will also seriously improve the likelihood of survival. Meaning your little ones are in good hands.
You could be the most qualified driver on the road; however, that doesn’t protect you from the drivers that surround you. Always prioritise safety over any of the other bells and whistles that may entice you.
Each family is going to have different space and storage requirements when it comes to cars. Depending on where you are in life, you may need an eight-seater vehicle with ample boot space. Or maybe you are a family of three and a cat that packs light and can get away with a small vehicle. Regardless, if you have found a car with an outstanding safety rating, you can then start contemplating how it might serve your needs.
If Saturdays are for sport and you need camp chairs and eskies, you may look into a hatchback with a collapsable back seat. Perhaps your family has a love for camping trips, so a ute with a canopy will fit your gear perfectly. Or, maybe you have seven kids and a minivan is a necessity. Consider your lifestyle before buying to avoid very squashed passengers on your next road trip.
Once you’ve located a safe selection of vehicles and have a grasp of how much space you require, then you can look into extra features that will improve your experiences. Consider USB ports and Bluetooth, rear climate control and window tint.
How easy the vehicle will be to clean? Do you have toddlers with sticky hands who like to slap the trim and the windows? Maybe you have teenagers who walk grass in on football boots post-training. Are cup holders vital?
All these little things seem minor; however, a family car will do a lot of the heavy lifting over the years to come, so you want to make sure it’s a good match. Whatever your plans for the future, as long as you keep in mind safety, space and comfort, you will be setting yourself up to make memories.
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