We have recently upgraded our family car, or the mum bus, as my brother lovingly nic named it in front of the children who, obviously, have kept the name. But unlike my little brother who can shop for style and speed I am a mum of boys and that means when buying a car I need to shop for size, safety and reliability. Gone are the dreams of a two-seater convertible, or an Aston Martin, now my dream car has 7 seats and a big boot. If like me you are a parent or a parent to be looking to purchase a new family car then here are my top 5 tips to consider before you sell your current car.
1. Speak to other families
Look at families and friends who have a similar set up to you and ask for their advice. Does the car they have work as well as it looks like it does or have they had numerous problems with it? If they could change something about their car what would it be? Reading reviews online is brilliant and you will find some great advice but word of mouth from someone using the car every day and who can be totally honest with you is worth its weight in gold, so ask.
2. Know your budget before you start looking for family cars
Know your budget and then only look at cars in that price range. It is no good setting your heart on a car and then finding you can’t afford it, anything else after that will only be a disappointment. You also don’t want to risk over committing to a payment plan just because you like the look of a car.
3. Shop around
Once you have found a car that works for your family and is within budget, shop around. Don’t feel you have to take the first one that comes up. Look at different dealerships and online auction sites as well as some private sellers and don’t forget autotrader. The more you see the car the more you will be certain it is the right one for you. Sometimes the same car can vary in price a lot depending on the sellers and the area so make sure you shop around before you commit. And if buying a second-hand car then make sur you remember to consider all these points too.
4. Consider your future family life
Think about how long this car needs to last you. Is it short term or long term? Consider your family needs now but also consider the potential needs in the future. Are you planning on having another child soon? Do your children do an activity that requires moving equipment from home to club on a regular basis? Will you be doing a lot of travelling, taking road trips, just staying local? Make sure that the car will meet the potential needs for as long as you have it as much as possible.
5. Take the family for a test drive
Car shopping with kids sounds like hell and indeed it can be but once you have chosen a car I suggest you take them with you. Insert all required car seats and make sure they fit, then get the kids on board and make sure they can get comfy, have enough leg room and all is okay for them too because trust me if you buy a car and your child feels like they have no leg room you will NEVER hear the end of it. Then take a look at your boot and the new boot and see if what you fill yours with on a daily basis will fit, think push chairs, weekly shop, football kits. If you can get the whole tribe in, including the dog, as well as room for your daily essentials, then you are on to a winner.