Everyone who has a car most likely uses it every day. Whether that’s taking the kids to school or to sports practices, going to work,driving to a vacation spot , or going to pick up groceries. Our cars go through a lot with us- where would we be without them?
It is, therefore, incredibly important to make sure that we are choosing the best cars for our needs as a family as well as making sure we know what do when things go wrong, and the things we need to check regularly to make sure that we don’t end up stranded on the road, or that our kids aren’t left after their dance class because our car broke down!
So, for the ultimate checklist for what you need from the ideal family car, and the things you need to check regularly to keep it all in good order, keep reading our definitive guide below.
What To Look For in Your Ideal Family Car
When it comes to choosing a family car, there are thousands of cars to choose from– and much of the choice comes down to preference and familiarity. But if a particular make or model car no longer suits your needs, you need to think outside of the box on certain things.
One of the most, if not the most important aspects to consider when choosing your car is the safety aspect of it. Safety of your vehicle is always important to consider, but it is absolutely paramount when you’re carrying around your most precious people with you.
The good news is that most modern cars come with decent safety specifications, so you should be able to easily find what you’re looking for when it comes to the safety of your family.
In Australia, you should follow the ANCAP- Australasian New Car Assessment Program . They specifically specialise in assessing a new vehicle’s risks of crashing. As a result of their assessments, they’ll give a score. The higher the score, the safer the vehicle.
Since they tend to be larger and more robust, cars that are built for a family tend to be slightly more expensive than smaller city cruiser cars. This means that your budget will need to stretch further for a car that ticks all of your personal specifications. It is possible to buy an affordable family car, but you will need to take some other aspects into consideration – for example a car that is big enough, but may not have all of the modern conveniences, or runs slightly older. You need to have a clear budget in your head before you hit a car dealership. Making sure you can afford it before you start your search will help you stick to a sensible budget, reducing your risk of overspending and getting yourself into debt. Having a budget in mind also makes the search a little easier, it narrows the field of options when you start to look for a new car. This will also make things less overwhelming so that you’re not paralysed by having too much choice!
Of course, one of the most important things about getting a car is making sure that there is enough space to carry everybody in your family at one time. This is particularly important if you have an ever growing family. For example, if you have just one tiled child, and you’re hoping to extend the family by two or three, then investing in just a five seater car will not be a worthwhile investment for you and your family.
Your car is going to need space for family, potentially maybe extra passengers too. Most common SUV or estate cars come with six or seven seat configurations. These are a great choice for a growing family – and I’ll have the option for folding rear seats, so that you can fold them away when you need additional storage space and unfold them when you need the seating.
Although not as important as safety and seating, functionality is still worth considering when it comes to choosing a car for your family. This means looking into the additional features that it may have. This is one of those things you’d consider nice to have over the must haves, but can still play a part in making your family life a lot easier.
For example, having the option of a hands-free Bluetooth device that enabled you to take phone calls without having to touch your phone, having integrated Wi-Fi so that your kids can watch films in the back seat of a car. Both of these options will make taking longer journeys a lot easier as everyone stays entertained.
Ease of Cleaning And Durability
Kids are messy. No matter what car you get it will always eventually become covered in stains, scratches, crumbs and fingerprints. This means that whichever car you choose needs to be durable and hard wearing. It needs to stand up to the daily wearing tear and transporting kids from toddlers to teenagers around. Your car should be easy to clean, and the less nooks and crannies around where dirt and crumbs can build up over time the better. As is the choice of your seat material. Lighter fabrics look good at first, but even after a few days of toddler snack times or inevitable nappy explosions, they show stains incredibly quickly. Again, while they are more costly, leather style seats are much easier to clean and are hard wearing.
Things to check in your car
One of the most important safety features for any car is the wheels. Wheels and tyres should have the correct air pressure. Not only does the air pressure improve the car’s overall performance but, most importantly, they help to make sure that your car stops on time when you brake.
If you have regular issues with your tyre pressure then it may be worth seeking out new tyres. Some garages will have wheels and tyres packages available if you’re truly concerned about the performance of your present wheels. Remember that in most places, it is illegal to drive with worn out tyres, so you should keep an eye on these regularly.
Your car may have a way of notifying you when there is an issue with any of your lights, however, it’s still important to check them regularly to make sure they are in good working order.
Think of how many accidents could be prevented if these are used properly and in good working order!
This not only means checking your headlights, brake lights, and indicators, but also giving them a clean so that they’re able to perform optimally.
Brakes are one of the most important things needed for our safety. You would usually have an inclination that your brakes need attention when you press down on the brake pedal with more difficulty than usual.
Go to a professional if you are concerned. Brakes are one of the things that cannot be fixed DIY.
Oil, water, and wipers
It’s incredibly important to keep track of your oil and water levels. You’ll always know how much gas you have in your car, but oil and water are often forgotten about- even after the warning light appears! However, if levels are too low, the engine will be deeply impacted.
In the same way, you should check your window wipers regularly as we all know there’s nothing worse than coming to use your window wipers only to have them squeak or worse, not clearing the window properly. Not checking your window wipers regularly can severely impact your visibility.
When choosing a car, your family’s safety and security is paramount. Make sure that once you’ve chosen the right car for you that you perform those checks regularly.