Throughout the year motor manufacturers launch, it seems, a new car on almost a daily basis. The choice has never been so good. Soon the very latest vehicles will be beckoning to you alluringly from behind plate-glass showroom windows. Try me. Buy me.
More Haste, Less Happiness
But let’s not be too hasty to spend money. Most of us can only afford one car and, for families, that vehicle will have to do many things. Thus your new car purchase may not be so much what your heart desires as what your head says you need. This is why it pays to spend a little time considering what those needs will be. If there’s a baby on the way or your kids are getting bigger by the day, it’s worth doing some research before splashing out on a new family car.
Not only do you want a vehicle that seats all in reasonable comfort, in safety and at the right price, you also need one that doesn’t cost the earth to run.
The Need For Many Doors
A five-door rather than a three-door motor just makes sense for families of all sizes. Doors that open wide or even slide are an advantage for those who need child seats. Consider the boot. This will have to accommodate, variously, pushchairs, shopping, luggage, rocks from the beach, pets and Wellington boots. If you were, for example, to consider buying a new Ford car you might choose to go for a crossover or SUV rather than select from the hatchbacks on offer.
Some car makers have had the bright idea of offering reversible or optional rubber mats to save on wear and tear. That’s worth a thought. Larger families, with say three or more children, may also need a five or six-seat vehicle. Some of the bigger people carriers have supplementary seats that rise from the boot floor; ideal for the runs to school to help out neighbours.
Staying Safe & Sound
When it comes to driving your family around, their safety is, obviously, of paramount importance. It isn’t necessary to go into great detail unless you want to but it is a straightforward job to check a new car Euro NCAP rating. Simply put, the higher the number the better but ideally the sensible buyer opts for a perfect five stars. For families with young children, always choose a car with Isofix car seat mounting points that make fitting and using baby and booster seats a simple job.
Buying a fuel-efficient vehicle will save a lot of money in the long term – especially for high mileage users. Manufacturers always publish ‘miles-per-litre/gallon’ figures and potential buyers can find real-world figures online with a bit of searching.
Not wishing to rain on the enthusiastic driver’s parade but smaller engines attract smaller insurance premiums and lower road tax charges. Green is the colour these days and, although a powerful motor is perhaps more desirable, the fact is these things add up in the long run. Fortunately, modern cars engines can be of very small displacement and yet still be moderately sporting, thanks to turbochargers.
Buying a new car is one of the great pleasures of life. Just be sure it is the right one for you.