Several of my friends have been looking into purchasing a new or used car lately. I’ve taken a few trips to showrooms with them to look for what might be the best option for them and it got me thinking about what sort of things one should look for when purchasing a family car. Here’s my list…
Of course, when you’re purchasing a family car safety needs to be at the top of the list. These days many manufacturers pride themselves on going above and beyond the industry standard, incorporating additional features such as additional air bags, automatic tyre pressure monitoring and adaptive cruise control. Look at the safety features available on each car, and also which makes and models are the safest over all.
When I first had S, my sister took us out on a day trip and we realised with dismay that my pram didn’t fit in her car! When you have kids you just need more space in a car – for car seats, push chairs, shopping and extra bodies. It’s also worth bearing in mind any plans to add to your family in the next few years!
- Living environment
If you live in the city centre and only need a car for the school run you will have very different requirements to someone who lives in the country and has to drive along winding country lanes to get anywhere. Bear in mind where you do most of your driving, whether you’ll be driving on the motorway a lot, and whether you might need to be able to get out of a big muddy puddle as part of your daily commute!
- Consider bringing the family with you for a test drive.
You might think that sounds like a nightmare family outing, but it’s worth bringing the family along for the ride, after all how often will you be driving this car alone, and how often will you have a small person in the back seat? It’s important to see how comfortable the rest of the family is in the car before committing to a purchase. Can the children get in and out without assistance or will you be lifting them up and down for the next few years? Once they’re strapped in, can you get to them easily? Is there space for their legs or will you be kicked in the back all the way to Grandma’s every weekend?
- How much will your insurance be?
This can be a major factor when it comes to deciding on a new car. As a general rule the safer and more environmentally friendly your car is, the lower the insurance premium will be. But some cars trigger higher insurance premiums because of theft rates. It’s worth speaking to your insurance provider before making your final decision.
What sort of mileage does your chosen car give? If you can barely get through the school run without having to stop for fuel, you might want to reconsider. In general a lighter car will get better mileage than a heavier one, but you’ll also find that some engines are more efficient and economical than others. These days there is also the option of dual fuel vehicles, in which case you’ll need to consider where you can top up your electricity locally.
Take a look at Sandown Group Mercedes for great offers on a new or used Mercedes.
This is a collaborative post with Sandown Group.