In the market for a family car? You’ve got more things to consider now that you have children compared to when you were single. Aside from needing more room, you need to think about the well-being and comfort of your growing brood, among other things.
So, if you’re about to be overwhelmed with vehicle choices and features, no worries. We’ve got you covered. Alpha Car Finance has put together this handy checklist to help you out with your car buying journey.
Do some research
To begin, you’ll need to think about what model and make you want, then see if it will suit your family’s needs. The good news is, it’s easy to do your homework as all the information you need to know is just a few keystrokes away.
You can easily visit a car manufacturer’s website, read expert reviews, check surveys and safety ratings on sites like Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), or just do it the old-fashioned way and buy some car magazines.
Determine your budget
After doing your homework, you need to check the sticker price of the vehicle you intend to buy. Before you head to the dealership, it’s a good idea to get the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). Savvy car salespeople can easily persuade you into spending more than you’re willing to, especially if you’re not armed with this vital information.
Review your credit history
Unless you have a large sum of money lying around somewhere to buy a vehicle outright, you’ll need to get a car loan. If you want to have a greater chance of having your car loan approved, you’ll need to check if your credit history is in excellent condition.
Lenders will be more inclined to grant you a loan when they see you don’t have difficulty in paying your financial obligations in the past. To check your credit standing, simply go to sites like canstar.com.au or creditsavvy.com.au to request a free credit report summary.
Check the safety features
There is nothing more important than the safety of your passengers. So, make sure the family vehicle you are going to buy has all the basic safety features that will keep your precious children safe.
Ideally, it’s good to have a car with dual front, side and head airbags along with other more recent safety features, such as anti-lock brakes, automatic braking systems (ABS), lane departure warning, forward-collision alert and rear cross-traffic alert systems.
Consider the size you need.
When it comes to family vehicles, you’ll need to think ahead. You might just have one child right now, but your needs will change soon enough once you have a couple more kids. So, you may want to think about buying a bigger car right off the bat in case you plan on having more children.
Consider your family’s lifestyle
If you plan to use your car for driving yourself to work, picking up your children from school, or doing some regular errands, a family sedan might be enough for your needs.
Alternatively, if you have a more active lifestyle and like going on road trips, you might want to get an SUV, which is more suitable for doing things like camping or other outdoor activities your family might be interested in.
When you’ve narrowed down your choices, you can now visit the dealership and take your family car for a spin. Be sure you take the time to drive on different roads and traffic situations. If possible, bring your children and let them experience what it feels like to ride in the car. Ask if they feel comfortable, safe and think if they will enjoy riding it every day.
Have you recently purchased a family car? What considerations did you make before buying it? We’d like to know how your car buying experience went. Please let us know in the comments.