Thinking of Upgrading the Family Car? Here’s What You Need to Consider!
The decision to start a family, or add to your existing family may mean that you’ll need to reconsider the car that you drive. With so many different makes and models available, choosing the right family car for your needs can be a little overwhelming!
Besides buying your own home, purchasing a car is likely to be the second most expensive purchase you’ll make. So, it is important that you do your homework to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck. Different cars have different features and it pays to do your research before you even think about walking into a dealership.
The amount of choice you have will of course depend on how much you can afford to spend. Avoid overspending, or getting carried away with the car salesman’s upsell, by setting your budget and sticking to it. Check out People’s Choice Credit Union’s online personal loan calculator to see how much you can comfortably afford to spend on a new car. Having a set figure in mind will also allow you to narrow down your search for the right car.
Important Things to Consider When Looking for a New Family Car
Have you seen a car you think you might like to own? Great!
Here are the things we suggest you research about that vehicle and any others you are considering to see how they stack up.
Safety is of course the number one priority when you are ferrying your precious cargo from A to B. ANCAP rate cars on their level of safety in an accident. You can check a particular vehicles ANCAP rating here. ANCAP recommend that you steer clear of anything with less than a 4 star rating. hyperlink
Be clear about what kind of car you are looking for: hatchback, station wagon, SUV, people mover or a sedan(We’re guessing your sports car days are over…for the time being anyway!). Whatever style car you choose you’ll need to feel confident and comfortable in the driving seat – so make sure you test drive before you buy.
There’s nothing a mum loves more than a spacious boot, right ladies? Don’t be afraid to take your pram with you to inspect the car. It’s important to know that it will fit and also how much room you have left for other things like your nappy bag or groceries.
Don’t forget that you are going to be leaning into the backseat to get your child/ren in and out, so it’s paramount that you have easy access to the backseat. We recommend that if it has less than 4 doors you cross it off your list! Ain’t no parent got time for contortionism every time they need to go on a car ride somewhere!
Child Car Seat Anchorage Points
The amount of car seat anchorage points is also an important feature of your new potential car, as it where they are positioned. Most newer cars these days will have 3, whilst larger people mover style vehicles may have 5. The reason why their positioning is important is due to some being located towards the back of the boot (for example in some station wagons). In these instances the straps will stretch across the back of the boot and may interfere with boot space and whether or not your pram will still fit.
Some cars also still have lap-sash style seatbelts in the rear centre position which are not suitable for securing child car seats or use with children. If you have, or plan on having more children it is better to look for a car that is fitted with three-point seat belts only.
The fuel efficiency of the vehicle you are thinking of buying should be an important factor in deciding whether or not the car is suitable for your needs. There is no point in buying a new car if you can’t afford to run it. All new light vehicles in Australia now have to display a fuel-consumption rating, so do your homework.
Other features you may want to think about are airbags, anti-locking brake system (ABS), electronic stability program (ESP), reverse parking sensors, reverse parking cameras, child locks etc.
Figure out which features are important to you, and which ones you would be happy to do without if need be. This will help you to narrow down your list of potential new cars.
Happy car hunting!
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People’s Choice Credit Union is an exciting financial institution focused on people, not profit. That means, any profits they make are reinvested back into better products and services for members and building stronger communities. Unlike most financial institutions, their customers and owners are the same people – their members and everything they do is designed to benefit their members.