A family car often has to fulfill a multitude of roles, so finding one the perfect care that meets all your needs – and is the car fit to cope with what you’ll want in the future as your family grows – can be a daunting prospect. The good news is that there are so many types of car types to choose from, the bad news is the welter of choice can confuse and obscure your priorities.
Before looking at cars – and running the risk of becoming seduced by a certain model you like the look of – it’s important to know what your priorities are and ensure they would be met by a potential purchase.
Space and Flexibility
Large saloon cars look bigger than hatchbacks, but consider flexibility. A hatchback or estate could make life a lot easier with five doors and an ability to flatten the rear seats proving especially handy for occasions when you’re transporting larger objects.
While considering space, don’t underestimate the need for ‘odds and end’ storage such as handy compartments and a decent sized glove box. They’re vital to stash away those family essentials.
Safety standards of newer car designs have improved markedly in recent years. Check the Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) ratings for crash safety and child protection for cars you may be considering on the Euro NCAP website. Also, make sure the car you select has high back booster seats. To know more about booster seats, click Carseatexperts for more.
Often the family car is driven by several people; do all likely drivers feel happy driving it? For example, if you have teen children will they be learning to drive in it? Make sure it’s suitable for them as they pick up the practical and theory knowledge needed to get on the road.
For younger children especially, long car trips can be arduous so plenty of entertainment options over and above the faithful iPod can help. Seat-back or roof-mounted DVD screens can be a worthwhile extra, and make sure the car has plenty of 12V sockets to keep everything charged.
Be careful when choosing interior trim and colors. Something that looks good could soon be spoilt by spillages and general heavy duty family use. On the flip side, darker colors hide spills and leather is actually a good choice as it’s easy to wipe down.
How many people generally travel in a car – and their ages – will determine what type of seating you need. For larger families, a people carrier such as an MPV may be the best option but boot space is likely to be at a premium.
If you use child seats, make certain they can be easily fitted to the models you’re considering. Take your seats along to try them to make sure.