Having a baby on the way means a lot of things you have to get ready for. Do you have everything you need? Are you prepared to welcome a newborn into your lifestyle? Nine months may seem like a long time, but it will quickly fly by. So you don’t want to get caught out, especially when it comes to your car. Is it the right car for your new family? Here are some key questions you have to ask about your car, to ensure its right for you and your new baby.
The primary concern of every parent is the safety and well being of their child. So the first question you have to ask is if your car has enough protection for your baby? We took a look at the safest cars for children in a previous post. We used the Euro NCAP testing system to see how safe each car was rated. The good thing about NCAP is that it tests for both adult and child passengers, providing a rating and detailed reasoning behind each rating given. The NCAP system is voluntary, so not every car has been assessed.
Make sure your car is up to safety standards.
Another consideration is any mechanical failures that the car has had recently. Has it needed a lot of repair work? Have the brakes been troubling you recently, or is the engine making a funny sound? Before you may have been happy to put up with odd sounds coming from the engine, but when there’s a new baby involved, breaking down is not an option. Consider either fully servicing your car prior to the due date, or exchanging your old car for something more reliable.
When driving with a baby, you must use a car seat. Not only is it a legal requirement, its also the safest way to transport your child when driving. The government carefully regulate car seats, only ones with an “E” label are EU approved for use in the UK. The question is, does your car have the right fixtures and fittings to make clipping in a car seat an easy process? It is important you take a look at your car before you buy a car seat. A high quality safe child seat is not cheap, so you will have to do your research before making a purchase. Cars with ISOFIX car seat attachments are highly recommended, and are part of the consideration taken by Euro NCAP when awarding a safety rating to a car. If you do decide to replace your car, you may want to consider buying a car that has ISOFIX attachment points.
Happy and safely secure.
Important tip: Remember to disable the airbag in the front passenger seat before you put the child seat in the car.
You will also want to consider how easy it is to fix and unfix the seat into the car. When you have a baby, you don’t want to be struggling each time you have to use the car. Looking after a baby is hard enough, without having to battle with putting your car seat into the car.
Important tip:We recommend that you leave your baby in a rear-facing child car seat until they are least 15 months old, or the first of these events occurs:
1. They reach the weight limit of that seat (13kg for Group 0+, 18kg for Group 1).
2. The crown of their head is level with the top of the car seat.
This will maximise the child’s protection in the car seat for as long as possible.
This may seem like an obvious point to make, but will the car really have the size and space you need for the new baby? This may mean you have to get rid of your nice little sporty coupe and upgrade to a car more suitable for a family. Is your car three or five door? If it’s a three door, this can make things awkward when the baby’s in the front passenger seat, meaning mummy or daddy will have to climb into the back each time you travel together. It may be time to upgrade to a five door. Or, if you do have a three door car, you may want to see how comfortable it is for an adult to be sat in the back for a long period of time.
Your family may grow. Think about the space you’ll need later, not just now.
If you want to make the most of the storage space available, we wrote a blog on some practical car storage solutions to give you some ideas.
Another seemingly obvious point to make. Will your boot have enough space to fit everything you need? Babies come with a lot of accessories. Nappy bags, milk bottles, spare clothes, wet wipes, and of course a buggy. Is your car big enough to fit it all in? We tested out the team’s cars to see how they stack up against each other. We all drive small cars here, so it was a surprise to see the results. Take a look at our blog for the results of our test or watch the video below.
Comfort will become more important when a new baby arrives. Spending a lot of time caring for a baby is a tiring experience, so you’ll want to be as comfortable as possible when behind the wheel of the car. Especially as it may be one of the rare times you get to sit down during the day. Make the most of it! If your car is uncomfortable to drive now, it will be much worse when the baby arrives.
Baby is comfortable, you should be too.
Having a baby means surrendering your life to the care of your child. This extends to the car. Baby’s are messy and they don’t care where they make their mess. Your car is no exception. So are you willing to sacrifice your four wheeled baby for the new one? Okay, so we’re not being deadly serious here, but this is something you still have to consider. Having a car that is easy to clean will save you a lot of time and headaches in the future. If your car requires an expensive valet to keep it in good condition, will you be willing to spend so much money to clean it when the baby arrives?
Creditplus has a range of car finance options to suit all circumstances and credit rating. We can find a car for you, then find the best finance deal on offer. Or we can find finance for a car you found yourself. Applying is simple and you’ll receive an online decision on your finance options. Comparing over 50 lending options, we’ll find the best finance package for you.