10 things you MUST do before buying a family car

Buying a family car can be daunting. It’s a major purchase for any family, and whether you are buying new or secondhand, this is something you can’t just dump in a year’s time if it doesn’t work out. Ideally, you’ll want your car to last several years, and if not, at least retain enough of its value to be a valuable trade-in when you want to purchase another. Budget is of course a major consideration, but when you have a brood to drive around, there are a number of other factors you need to bear in mind.

Here are ten important considerations to remember when investing in a family car.

Think safety

Cars have really come on in leaps and bounds in recent years when it comes to safety features. With children, look for such features as ISOFIX for ultimate car seat safety. Other safety features such as rear-view parking cameras and automatic emergency braking may also be available. At the very least, look for the brands with the best safety records in a serious accident.

Number of passengers

Ideally your car should last you a number of years, so if you’re planning on adding to your family, look for a car that will fit multiple car seats. In addition, remember that kids grow and their needs grow, so your car should be able to cope with all these changes.

It’s all about the boot

With babies, a really important consideration is whether your bulky travel system will fit into the boot – you’ll be surprised how many don’t. Consider, too, that you’ll want room for other things like shopping, or even pets.

Everyday living

Think about your typical day. Are you zipping in and out of the city and parking in tight spaces? Or do you live in the country and need something that will travel through all conditions and weathers? Choose a car that suits your everyday life rather than having something with features that are only handy once a year.

Think tax and insurance

The cost of the car is one thing, but remember that the cost of tax and insurance continues on way past when you’ve forked out for the car. The older the car and bigger the engine, the bigger the tax bill. Get insurance quotes before you choose your car and make sure you can afford both yearly bills.

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Do your research

We’ve already mentioned safety, but extend your research to the features and reports on all your chosen brands and models. Become a car expert, at least for a small bit. Remember that this is an important purchase so take it seriously.

Go secondhand…

Don’t be afraid of a secondhand car. New cars lose their value as soon as they leave the showroom; that said, you have immediate comeback if something goes wrong. If you want to go secondhand, hedge your bets by buying from a dealer and getting a warranty as part of the deal.

…but keep your eyes open

If you are tempted by the ads in Autotrader or similar, make sure you thoroughly check out your chosen car before signing over the cash. Bring along a knowledgeable person to take a good look at the car and make a list of questions to ask. A good resource is www.consumerhelp.ie, which gives lots of practical down-to-earth advice about buying a car secondhand. Finally, do an official check on the car – Motorcheck.ie offers a comprehensive checking system to make sure the car is legit for a small price.

Don’t be afraid to say no

Car salespeople are famously persuasive, so you need to be prepared to say no if you need to. This is where your research comes in. Know what you want and why, and stick to your guns. By all means, let him/her tell you about the car, but if he/she avoids a question or tries to push you onto another model, simply walk away. It’s your cash.

Learn all there is to know

When you buy and take delivery of your car, read the manual and learn about all the features – you’d be surprised who doesn’t (there’s a few red faces in the M&I office right now…). Finally, keep your car serviced and topped up with things like oil – a little effort will help keep your car healthy for longer.

maternity & infant

Originally posted 2016-09-02 15:57:21.