When you have little ones, your needs change. The super-fast sports car isn’t high (well, not as high) on your list of priorities.
Car shopping can be overwhelming at the best of times (erm, can I have the black one please), with choosing a car as a parent (as well as being an actual human being) just adds to the confusion, right?!
With little people to keep alive, you’ve got to put more thought into the selection process and get it right for all the family.
Technology has made searching for a car a lot easier with the various comparison sites too. You can get all the information you need from the comfort of your own home, but if you’re anything like me, I often don’t know exactly what I’m meant to be looking for in the first place.
Luckily I got to speak to the experts at JCT600 who let me interview the heck out of them and share their wisdom. You’re welcome 🙂
What to look for in a new car?
I find experience (yours, friends and family’s) and recommendation always helps when it comes to these big decisions.
When choosing the right car for your family, safety should be a top priority… so for this you can check out the Euro NCAP website.
Cars don’t need to earn all five stars to be safe but the scores represent the results from things like crash tests, rollover statistics and specific child-safety issues such as side air bags.
These are tested in real life accident scenarios.
The number of stars reflects how well the car performs in the Euro NCAP tests, so the greater the stars, the better. It’s always a good starting point when trying to narrow down my choices.
It’s fab to find a car to fit all the family and it’s even better if it lets you travel comfortably too. Having the kids jam-packed in the back isn’t a promising way to start a long drive.
Many of the best family cars have differentiated themselves by offering the added comfort factor. They know parents have it hard enough with kids in the back seat and have tried to take the stress out of travelling.
Also, make sure you look for wide-opening doors too to enable you can strap the little ones in easily.
So the children are in, but where do you put the weekly shop or the luggage on the summer road trip with the family?
If you’re like me and want to pack everything but the kitchen sink, you’ll need ample storage.
Test it out. Check you can comfortably fit your pram in, along with the family day trip essentials and weekly shop when you test-drive the car.
Whilst it’s unlikely you’ll have to pack all three things at once, you don’t want to have to manoeuvre your shopping bags over your children because you’ve underestimated and you can’t have too much space, right?!
Like any good outfit, try before you buy!
After a house, a new car is one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your life, so choose wisely!
You’re going to be driving it every day with your little ones in tow for most of the time so try it out.
Your days of reckless sport cars and sexy convertibles might be over, so make sure the one you choose, doesn’t make you wail.
Take it for a test drive to make sure it’s the right fit.
I recently test drove the new BMW Series 2 Gran Tourer on our family holiday to Norfolk and London over half-term, discovering this family-friendly 5 seater was the perfect combination of comfort and style.
With a large spacious interior, adjustable seats and a luggage compartment with folding floor, this beemer has made the shortlist for our new family car.
You can find out more about our road trip here.
So you’ve chosen, what’s next?
Finally, check to see if the vehicle you’re considering is worth the wonga.
For many, choosing the car is the hard part (I hope my tips have helped), but for others it’s actually buying the car that gets confusing.
In a survey conducted by JCT600, 96% of people admitted to being confused around car finance (I’m one of those people!)
Whilst it can be a great way to buy your perfect family car without having to worry about getting together a big lump sum of money, it’s probably not the easiest thing to get your head around.
As a parent, you seek safety, security, easy access and lots of room.
But, not only do you want security in the car itself, you want security in the knowledge that you’ve get the best deal too.
JCT600 have taken the results of this research and are adapting the car finance information that they provide on their site, to make it easier for us parents to learn how to get the best deal.
So if you want a bit more information about car finance, why not take a look.
JCT600 are celebrating their 70th year in business this June and represent 18 of the world’s biggest car manufacturers across the volume, premium and specialist sectors primarily in Yorkshire and the surrounding area.
This is a commissioned post.