Buying a car is never easy. Most of us start by buying a car that will barely make it from A to B let alone anything else. We set out to get something cheap and cheerful and usually end up with a lot of misery. It is a valuable lesson in growing up. From there we start to understand the car market a little more and have a little more success. Finally, the day comes when we need to buy our first family car. This is a different beast to ever before as things that never appeared on the radar before are now vital. Follow our tips to ensure you buy the right family car for you.
How much money can you spend?
The most important thing is to decide what your budget will be for your family car. This will decide what year and what range of cars you can look at. There is no need to buy a new car for the family as it will likely be used for a variety of small tasks and new cars simply depreciate too quickly. Choose a second-hand car to make sure your dollars go a little further.
What will the car be used for?
Of course, the obvious answer is the family but no one’s family looks the same. Is your family big or small, is it about to get bigger, do you have a pet or many pets, are they big or small? Will you be going on long trips, do you and your family take part in sports that require trailers to be attached at the back or things to be stored on top?
All of this will impact the size of the car you go for, whether you need a tow bar or roof racks and if you need a station wagon or a saloon. You should avoid a three-door car as it is a nuisance with a family and at the very least get something with a big boot to allow the storage of plenty of things.
How reliable is your car?
You need to choose a car that you can be certain will get you from A to B without any hassle. Gone are the days where you were single and had a car that looked good but spent every other week in the mechanics. In my family, we always go with Toyota as they are highly rated in safety and reliability.
It is best to purchase your car from a registered dealer of your choice. This will save you from purchasing any lemons.
How efficient is your car?
The typical family car runs up a lot of kms. From dropping and picking up the kids to adventures on the weekends you will need something that doesn’t burn up fuel too quickly. If you can, consider a hybrid car to save more money and help the environment a little bit too.
Safety is key
While you may be an incredible driver the road is full of those who simply are not. With that in mind choose a car that rates highly on safety. Technology has greatly improved safety features on cars and you now have the choice of things like autonomous emergency braking, drowsy driver checkers and more to ensure whoever is driving is doing a top-notch job.
As a final tip, if you have young members of the family. Bring them along to check out the car, it will be an experience they will never forget as they look back in years to come at the time they went shopping for the car that gave them so many memories. You can even get them to help bring down the price by complaining that they don’t like the car. When it comes to negotiations, every little bit helps.