When I was very pregnant with my son, my husband tried the entire nine months to convince me that we should buy a new (new to us) car. He wasn’t out of the realm of rational thinking since my car at the time was a TWO door Toyota Yaris. A great vehicle, but not a great family vehicle. I fought him on it…hard! My main reason being I didn’t want to spend money when we were about to have a new little, precious life to take care of.
(yup, there’s totally a hubcap missing…classy)
Fast forward a year after my son was born, so he was over a year old and I was still trying to finagle myself into the backseat to put him in the carseat…it wasn’t pretty. I finally buckled (and so did my back) and told my husband I knew it was time that we get a family friendly car. That is what led me on my in depth and tedious search for the perfect family car. Here are is that I came up with – The 6 Tips to Find the Perfect Family Car:
1. Safety/Reliability- The absolute number one thing on our list was the safety of the vehicle. Like I said before, we now have a new little life we are responsible for, so taking a serious look at the safety side of the vehicle was of the utmost importance. My main resource to find all things safety related was Cars.com.
2. Budget Friendly- If you know me, you know that I’m s super frugal person. Spending money is literally painful for me, so buying a car was a big deal. That’s why we wanted to make sure the vehicle we chose was budget friendly.
Meaning we could either pay cash or have a very low monthly payment. This was very important to us since I was a new stay at home mom and we felt the need more than ever to be good stewards of our money.
It’s important that you find a car that stays within your budget so you don’t feel in bondage to a vehicle.
3. Appearances- It sounds vein but we all know it matters. Once you have the safety and budget in order you need to find a vehicle that is aesthetically pleasing because in reality you’ll be in this car for a good while (I’m hoping at least ten years).
Pay attention to things like color, shape, cup holders (my personal number one priority) and size.
Size is a huge one because you need your family or future family members to fit comfortably and safely. Trunk space was a huge deal for us because in my two door I couldn’t even take my stroller anywhere because it wouldn’t fit. So, a spacious trunk was a priority for us!
And again, if you’re thinking about years in advance you need to plan for storage for sports equipment or whatever extra curricular activities you’re little angle is a part of.
4. Maintenance- Making sure that you can financially handle the maintenance of the car is another serious aspect to look at. The last thing you want to do is buy a car you can afford off the car lot but then it ends up putting you in debt because of outrageous maintenance fees.
5. Gas Mileage- Often SUVs can be gas guzzlers, so you have to be diligent on researching how many MPG your car will get. If it outrageous than you can quickly go over your month budget on gas alone causing a stress on your family.
6. Don’t Settle- Keep your standards high and don’t give in. Whether you are choosing to buy new or used, keep your standards high. It is easy to just want to give in and get a car so the whole process can be over. But, remember you’ll have this vehicle for a long while (hopefully). So, you want to make sure that they have all of the qualities I’ve listed above. That way you will be happy with your purchase and not have to deal with buyers remorse.
And here’s a little mom hack for you. I found answers to all six of these tips through Cars.com. It saved me a ton of research time because all of my answers were in one place.
Hopefully, this will help you find the perfect car for your family that will take you on many amazing adventures (safely and within your budget)!