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Top tips for deciding and purchasing a new family car

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Choosing the right car for your family is an important decision.

When it comes to that all important stage in your life of deciding on a family car, women are well and truly in the drivers seat.

Making the right decision can be a difficult task, especially when it comes to differentiating between which make, model, and specification to go for. However, we are almost certain that if you follow our top tips you’ll select the right family car for you whilst having a great experience doing so.

1. Shortlist what you want

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This is probably thy most difficult part of the car buying process. With the extensive range of family vehicles available on the market deciding on what you want is no easy task.

Try and start with the basics and work out what style of vehicle you would prefer or would be more suited to your lifestyle requirements.

Cars come in all shapes and sizes. Which one fits your family?

2. Safety first

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Is your car safe enough for your children?

Safety will probably be the most important factor when deciding on the perfect car for you and your family. Make sure that you thoroughly compare the safety aspects of all makes and models to determine which one is going to be the safest for you.

The best way to determine this is to look at what NCAP safety rating the car has been awarded. 5 stars is the highest level of safety that a car can provide whilst 1 is the lowest.

Along with this, it is also worth checking the number of airbags in the car, whether the car has daytime running lights, anti-lock brakes and isofix fastenings.

3. Consider practicality, size and comfort

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When deciding which family car to choose remember to consider not only your family but all the other items which are associated with having a baby / child.
It is easy to forget about all the extras like transporting travel cots, scooters, bikes, and pushchairs around.

Saloon cars often look deceptively bigger than hatchbacks but the reality is they are not as flexible. Loading a pushchair into a saloon is much harder than it looks. Saloons come with narrow opening and high boot lips in contrast to hatchbacks which come with plenty of space.

A good way to help ensure you choose the right vehicle for you is to write down a list of all the journeys you are likely to make in your car. I.e. if you plan to go camping and plan on taking the car will the car allow you to transport your family safely and comfortably and then allow you to take the camping equipment too?

I hear the majority of you say…”Ah.”

Think about the activities you will do with your family before deciding.

4. Set a budget

It is crucial to choose a car that fulfils all your needs, however be careful not to jeopardise the family finances because you want a flashy 4×4 that will cost you a fortune in fuel.

Whether you have a mortgage or rent to pay the next biggest payment to normally come out of your account is your car, so make sure that whether you’re buying the car outright or planning to have it on finance you calculate your budget carefully and think about what you can really afford.

A good rule of thumb is to spend 10 to 15% of your total monthly budget.

5. Do your homework

Doing your homework prior to purchasing a car will add confidence when the actual time comes to purchasing your new vehicle – whether you buy a car online, or through your local dealership.

The internet has a wealth of free, easily accessible information that you can use to arm yourself with the knowledge you’ll need to make a confident, educated decision about your new purchase.

Having a read of reviews written by other parents about which family cars they approve or disapprove of is a good idea. Digesting lots of new information about a car can be confusing and to read a review by another parent can be refreshing and help to give you a clearer picture of what car to choose.

More advice for families from Creditplus: Top 10 Family cars for under £200 per week The Top 10 family cars under £5,000 – ideal for those looking for a bargain. The Car Boot Challenge – Which small car can fit a typical mum shop in the boot? Safest cars for children – which models will protect your family the most?

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