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How to choose the perfect family car

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A car is like a mechanical family pet, and its attributes are crucial. There are obvious choices of makes and models that will not fit in with your current lifestyle.

For example, a Porsche 911 may turn heads but will you be able to fit the twins, grandfather and the unexpected new arrival in it safely and comfortably?

The best car for a family is one that is suitable to take care of all of its needs. As these needs change, then so must the car. Fortunately, if you are buying second hand, there are some great deals about so this needn’t be a problem. Here are some useful ideas to help you choose the best car for your immediate family needs.

The type of body

You have four main body shapes to choose from: estates, sedan, hatch and people mover. The sort of shape that’s best for you will depend on where you live (suburbs, city or countryside) and, of course, the size of your family and the age range of your children. For practicality choose the hatch because of its flexibility. If you have small children, then always make sure you take the child seat with you to the showroom so you can test out cabin space when it’s fitted. People movers are more suitable for older children, and the best all-rounder is the faithful estate.

Storage space

Driving with children is a unique experience with its own problems and joys. If you are looking for a new family car, always make sure that you have enough space to store what you need for journeys to run smoothly. Estate cars are particularly suitable for making up a makeshift nappy-changing table at the back. Focus on boot, under-seat storage, and glove compartment.

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Safety ratings

Don’t ignore how a model has been rated for safety when it is involved in a crash. This must be as high as possible, and is one of the top questions to ask a car room salesperson. He or she will always be happy to talk you through the safety aspects of all models that you are interested in.

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How the car will be used

Two or four-wheel drive needs to be considered. To make a decision, it is crucial that you take into consideration where the majority of your driving will take place. This will also help you make decisions on whether you buy a diesel, petrol or hybrid.

Essential extras

The majority of modern cars come well equipped with lots of gadgets in the cabin. When you are travelling with your family, there are some extras that will be useful to have. Back window locks, reversing camera and rear seat bottle and cup holders are nice touches. Also, for long trip having a DVD player that is integrated into the front seat rests can keep children of all ages quiet

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A good car will become part of the family, but don’t forget that as your family changes so must the parameters of your ideal vehicle.

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