Car Buying Tips for Families

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When visiting a car dealership with the entire family, car buying can easily become a very unpleasant experience, to say the least. The teenagers always gravitate towards the sports cars and convertibles, and your youngsters are usually attracted to the bright orange or lime green selections. Parents, on the other hand, have very different ideas.

Safety, sufficient seating capacity, comfort, and lots of cargo room for groceries, kids sporting equipment, and those weekly trips to the grocery store carry greater weight over the style and exterior appearance of the vehicle. But if we prepare for our trip to the car dealer in advance, knowing what to look for and what to avoid, then the entire purchasing experience will likely go much more smoothly. Here are some car buying tips that may come in handy. You might want to start by leaving the kids at home.

Safety First

Before you even walk on to the lot for a day of family car buying, consider reviewing the Internet or Consumer Reports Magazine for the safety and crash test ratings of your preferred choices. But also be aware of the many individual features that are also now available.

• How many air bags does the vehicle have and where are they located?
• Does the car offer side curtain airbags that fully extend to the third row seating?
• Does your favorite model have rollover protection, hands free blue tooth, and voice activation technology?
• How about rearview cameras for safer backing?

Some newer models even come with automatic tire pressure monitoring, brake assist technology, and adaptive headlights. Know your options and ask questions. But perhaps one of the most useful car buying tips is to never be afraid to walk away if you do not get the answers that you want to hear.

Seating Capacity

For newly married couples expecting their very first child, it may not be economical to purchase a massive new minivan right away. These larger vehicles can be real gas-guzzlers and can also be very difficult to maneuver, especially if you have spent the last 10 years speeding around in a tiny two-seater. Take the time to really evaluate your specific and individual needs before family car buying.

• Will you be adding second or third child to your family before you plan to replace this vehicle?
• Do you have children nearing the age of school sports, clubs, and extracurricular activities?
• How often will you be asked to carpool for your children’s friends?
• Do you have aging parents who might be living with you in the coming years?

Cars today are built and designed to last much longer than even 10 years ago. And the prices are increasing every year at a much faster rate as well. You might be keeping this next automobile for a lot longer than the last. One of the best car buying tips is to simply do your homework and plan ahead.

Interior and Exterior Storage

When family car buying, the key to keeping a new car well maintained and clutter free is the amounts and types of interior and exterior storage. Again, you will want to plan ahead, looking at the ages and driving habits of your individual family members. Cup racks, activity trays, and indoor bottle holders can keep beverages secure and teenage hands free to drive the vehicle.

• Will you be adding to your family within the next 5-7 years? Can the vehicle trunk or rear end compartment fit a stroller?
• Are your kids entering those years of baseball teams and hockey leagues? Can the vehicle store all of this expensive equipment safely and securely?
• Do you like to take weekend getaways with bicycles or skiing equipment? Can the roof deck handle the weight?
• Will you need a fold-down third seating option for grandparents or carpooling?

Your Situation

Think about your current situation as well as what’s in store for the future.  What is your family size at the moment? Are you planning on another child? If so, you may want to consider this when purchasing.  Another variable is the age of the family members.  Small, younger children will need less room.  Active teenagers, on the other hand, will not.

There you have it, we hope the above tips help you determine your next vehicle.  Need help? Call Frank’s today!


Frank’s Auto Credit

(860) 649-3000