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What to Look for When Buying Your First Family Car

Posted on by admin | in Housekeeping

Transitioning from your sporty coupe or flashy roadster into something more suitable for family excursions can be depressing, but it can also be fairly confusing. With so many features and options available, choosing a family car for the first time is anything but a walk in the park. Before you become overwhelmed and discouraged, however, consider these hints and tips for selecting and purchasing the perfect car for your family.

Safety Features

The first and foremost consideration when choosing a family vehicle is safety and security. After all, you’ll be carrying around the most precious possible cargo. Before making a hasty decision based solely on size and fuel economy, take the time to carefully research crash safety ratings and tests to ensure that the automobile you’re bringing home has all of the necessary features to keep your family safe. All of the optional bells and whistles in the world aren’t as important or as valuable as dependability and safety in the event of an accident.

Roominess

Infant car seats are much bigger than your baby, and the seats only get larger as your child grows. Since she’ll be riding in a booster seat until she’s large enough for the factory installed restraints and belts to fit her properly, your child will be taking up a lot more room than you realize for quite some time. The space factor only increases in importance as you have more children. Make sure that the car you select is large enough to accommodate your child, your partner and at least one other passenger.

Economy

As fuel prices continue to rise with no lasting relief in sight, the fuel economy of your car is almost as important as the sticker price. Make sure that you’re able to comfortably afford the amount of fuel the car will require in order to get you where you need to go, and that you’re making the most ecologically sound choice by choosing the most efficient model in your price range that suits your needs.

Ease of Access

With a small child in tow, you’ll be wrangling a safety seat, a diaper bag and a full complement of items designed to keep her happily occupied during your trip. Juggling all of those things isn’t easy, so it’s wise to look for a car that you can easily get your child into and out of so that you’re not constantly frustrated by the simple act of loading up for a trip to the grocery store.

Child Seat Compatibility

From the time your child is a newborn to the moment she’s able to properly wear the shoulder and lap belts intended for adults, your child should be riding in a safety seat. That means that any car you choose should be as accommodating to a child seat as possible. Look for specialized belts and additional features designed to make installation and removal of a child seat as simple as possible, especially if you’ll be moving the seat from one vehicle to another regularly. Also, make sure that the vehicle is large enough to comfortably fit the seat, and that your child will be properly situated for optimal safety in your new car.

Cargo Area Size

With each addition to your family comes a longer grocery list, more gear to tote around and a more urgent need for cargo space in your vehicle. A cute hybrid hatchback might look great in your driveway and save tons of money in gas, but it’s not going to be suitable if you can’t fit the groceries into it while your kids are strapped into their seats. Make sure that you have plenty of cargo space before signing on the dotted line to ensure that you’re still satisfied with your purchase a few years down the road.

Doing your homework on models and makes that you like before ever visiting a dealership will help you have a solid game plan in place and will reduce the likelihood of impulse buys at the hands of a slick, persuasive salesperson. Knowing what you want and what you need before you shop is one of the most effective ways of ensuring that all of your criteria are met the moment you pull your new car off of the lot.

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