Need a new set of wheels for the family?

Whether your family’s grown out of your current family car - or you’re looking to change the two-door sports car to a four door family wagon, the family wagon options are seemingly endless.

From make, to model, to people mover or station wagon – the choice is dazzling. How do you get the right one for your unique family needs?

What’s your budget?

Before you start to look, work out how much you can reasonably afford to spend on a vehicle – whether from savings or with monthly payments. Knowing what your budget is, will help you focus on the options in your price range. Vehicles come and go in the popularity stakes; but generally the more popular they are, the higher price they can command. Maximise your budget by looking at vehicles that meet your needs but may not be so popular.

How far does the tank go?

If you plan on doing a lot of driving – maybe regular school runs and sports practice – you’ll want to make sure your petrol spend goes a bit further. You can check a car’s fuel economy ratings to get a sense of how it will perform. Smaller, lighter vehicles tend to have better fuel efficiency – but watch the CC rating. A small car with a big engine may still be a gas guzzler.

Mod cons

The more modern the car, the more features are likely to come built in. If you have little ones around, reversing cameras will give you more peace of mind. Bluetooth and in-built screens may also be useful for long family road trips.

Just remember though – the more mod cons, the higher the price. Figure out what you really need for your family, prioritising safety, and skip some of the optional extras if you are trying to keep the cost down.

Room to stretch out

Many of us will recall the road trips of old, squashed into the back seat, squabbling with siblings and loaded with everything that didn’t fit in the boot.

If you’re looking for more harmonious family road trips, make sure the vehicle has enough space for everything you want to fit in. When your kids are young, they won’t need so much leg room – but carting around a pushchair and portacot will quickly fill up the boot.

Older children will need more room to spread out – but it is likely you will also need boot space for all the bags; so make sure the extra seats in the back aren’t eating into your valuable boot space.

Need a new set of wheels for the family

Safety first

No matter how much space your new wheels has, it doesn’t trump safety as your number one consideration. While we hope you will never be in an accident, it doesn’t hurt to make sure the new vehicle comes fitted with enough airbags – and in the right places.

ANCAP safety ratings can give you a good idea of the relative safety of a range of new vehicles- it’s likely the car you have your eye on will be on the list. Ratings for existing cars are created from vehicle crash records – and will give you an idea of how it will perform should you ever be in an accident. The higher the star rating, the better the safety of the vehicle.

AA Motoring says people in heavier vehicles tend to be safer in crashes than those in lighter cars. – so keep that in mind if you are tossing up between two different vehicles.

Want to talk?

If you are looking for a car loan to buy your next set of wheels, and would like to learn more about your options, please get in touch.

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Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure the content is correct, the information provided is subject to continuous change. Please use your discretion and seek independent guidance before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article.