How to Choose the Perfect Family Car

familycarLooking for the perfect family car? Gone are the days where your only choice was a minivan or station wagon. There are lots of options to choose from so you can find a car you love that accommodates all your needs. Here are some tips for finding the best car for you and your family.

Safety should always come first. Safety is important no matter who is in the car but when your car is full of kids, it seems to take on a whole new level. Thoroughly research the vehicle you choose and make sure it is safe. Two good sources on vehicle safety is Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Both websites provide information on a vehicle’s safety ratings, crash test results and safety features.

How much room do you need? Don’t assume just because you’ve started a family that you need a huge car. A smaller car is fine for a small family. Obviously a two seater is out of the question but a crossover SUV or small four door sedan can accommodate a small family comfortably. If your budget is tight, a sedan or crossover is more affordable than a minivan or full size SUV and gets better fuel economy. Take into consideration your future plans. You don’t want to buy a car that comfortably fits a family of four knowing you plan to have more kids right away, then back to the dealership you go for a bigger car. It’s a good idea to take your whole family with you to the dealership and see how comfortably your family fits and how easy it is to get everyone in and out including car seats.

Consider your day to day life. Do you do a lot of carpooling with other families? If so, a minivan with all it’s passenger room and easy access might be a good choice for you. If a lot of family road trips and vacations are a big part of your life, a full size SUV might be the perfect car. This would give you maximum passenger and cargo space. Think about your lifestyle when deciding on your needs.

Don’t forget the fun stuff. Decide on what amenities you want. Kids of all ages love a rear DVD entertainment system but if you have small children, this can be a life saver. Bluetooth cell phone connectivity and upgraded stereos are a favorite of teenagers. Parents that are still dealing with car seats will have a totally different must-have list like power, sliding doors and adjustable seating. Amenities can raise the price of the car significantly so choose wisely.

Know Your Budget. When car shopping, it’s always a good idea to have a budget in mind before shopping. It’s even more important when starting a family. As you adjust to the expenses of a bigger family, don’t buy more than you can afford.

Letting go of that sporty little two seater may be hard but with all the possibilities out there for a family car, it can be painless. Who knows, maybe that new crossover or minivan will be a new favorite. If you’re in the market for a new car, take a look at our inventory online at