Choosing a new car for family use can be a paralysing decision, even at the best of times. The market is chock-full of vehicles whether new or used, each of which have their own benefits to driver and passenger alike. In choosing a family car, there are some factors which are vastly more important than others; here is how to choose a daily driver for your family household, and get the best for your money.
The budget is always one of the most important considerations when it comes to choosing a car, especially one for family use. However, in today’s difficult economic times it is more important than ever to be careful with your purchasing decisions – for more than one reason. Not only does your car need to be cheap enough not to severely impact your family’s finances immediately, but it also needs to be fuel-efficient so as not to bump up your ongoing costs alongside an increased cost of living.
The biggest way in which to save money on buying a car is to go used. Used cars cost less than new vehicles, owing largely to the depreciation that occurs within the first 12 months of new car ownership. Used cars also hold their value better, meaning you can recoup most of your costs if you sell your car on.
Other options available to you include finance agreements and loans, with which you can offset the upfront cost and preserve your financial stability – all important things to concern yourself with, especially with the increased value of family-oriented vehicles over smaller hatchbacks and compacts.
Of course, the car’s qualities are of key importance – and your needs in this regard should be settled on well before you get to the financing stage. We briefly touched on size above; size is crucial to consider, in order for you to meet your family’s specific needs. If you’ve just welcomed new life in to your family, you will need ample boot space in which to fit prams and shopping. If you already have children, you will need enough seating to accommodate them comfortably.
Safety is perhaps your chief concern when it comes to a family car. You want to be sure that everyone is safe when you drive, wherever you drive. The more safety features the better, but looking at what safety features are included on a car-by-car basis can just be confusing for the average consumer. Instead, be sure to use NCAP’s safety ratings for recommendations on the safety of specific models. Five-star ratings are ideal for keeping your children safe and happy on the road.
Of course, your children’s safety is paramount – but your car’s safety from your children is another factor for you to consider. If you have young children prone to spills and crumbs, you may want to opt for a car with an interior that’s easier to clean. Cloth seats can accept stains with ease, where leather upholstery can be easy to wipe down after an incident.