When we Sebastian arrived in 2013 one thing became very clear and very quickly – we needed a bigger car.
I had been really looking forward to looking around at 7 seater cars but there was a couple of issues. 7 seater cars are very expensive and although we looked into leasing options we were concerned that we wouldn’t actually own the car at the end of the lease period.
Using a car finance guide we worked out the best option for us and set a strict budget that we could afford to go to. We found a good lender and were sure that we got the best interest rate when deciding to borrow. This reduced our options quite dramatically but this became a good thing as I found test driving cars with a young baby and a toddler in tow was increasingly difficult.
The main issue with 7 seater MPV’s is the lack of boot space when all seats are in use. The Ford Galaxy offered the largest boot size but we would have to have bought a 6-year-old vehicle for the money we had and we wanted something low mileage and younger if at all possible.
I was advised to look at ex-mobilty vehicles as they are notoriously low mileage, replaced every three years and have regular maintenance checks. It was a genius recommendation and I found our dream car a few miles up the road in Penton Citroen.
Not only was it the colour I wanted (a very girly request, I know), but it had less than 20,000 miles on the clock, was a mid-range vehicle which I was then advised to choose as the suspension needs re-gassing every 4 years on the next model up and was a diesel so costs less to run than a petrol engine and you pay less tax than our Peugeot at just £130 per year. Plus it cost less than the money we had been offered as a loan.
Driving away from the garage in our new car was so satisfying and finally we could take the whole family out in one car instead of having to take two. We would even get the buggy in the boot with the seats up (just).
Our Citroen C4 Grand Picasso has been in our family now for just over 18 months and I have added 25,000 miles to the clock and two new sets of tyres thanks to National.co.uk as we use it for all our adventures up and down the country. Tip – enter your registration into Tyre Shopper and it tells you the size you need and the cheapest price around!. I get over 500 miles to every tank of fuel but more importantly I can get three car seats across the back seats which is impossible in many of the cars I looked at. It coped admirably at being converted into a van for Camp Bestival too.
It took some time to get used to driving such a large car and parking can be an issue in some car parks with narrow spaces but I thankful that we are still allowed to use parent and child spaces which give me a bit more room to get in and out. We have our perfect family car!
Disclaimer: Written in conjunction with TSB. All thoughts and opinions are my own.