Buying the perfect family vehicle can be a daunting task. You know you want a quality vehicle, but where to go from there?
There are lots of things to consider and many options available. To make things less overwhelming, Stewart's Donnybrook Auto in Tyler, Texas, has put together this helpful list of things to look for when planning and shopping for your next family vehicle.
First, it's important to sit down with your partner or family and make a list of your priorities when it comes to buying a new car. What's most important to you as a family?
Here are a few questions to ask:
What is your budget for car payments?
How long do you plan on keeping your vehicle?
Are you buying new or used?
Is it the vehicle that will transport a baby in a car seat? A toddler in a booster seat? Multiple children?
Will your teenager learn to drive in this car?
Once you've answered these questions, you have a better idea of where to start your research.
When it comes to your family car, as a parent, vehicle safety is of utmost importance.
Look for a car with a Latch System compatible with your car seat. These are a relatively new safety feature, but crucial when it comes to keeping your children safe.
When you're researching your vehicle, make sure they have the small metal hoops or "Latches" in the back seat for your car seat to fit into. Also, make sure your car seat fits. When testing the fit, make sure there's enough space for the passenger and driver to put their seats back and have enough legroom.
Also, check to see if there are Latches in the middle seat, if applicable. The middle is the safest place for the car seat, and can also ensure no kicking happening to the back of your seat on long car rides!
If your child is old enough for a booster seat, make sure the booster seat fits comfortably and securely where you want it.
An excellent source of information you can trust when it comes to vehicle safety is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. Here, you can find information on safety ratings for your prospective vehicles, and lots more info. When you visit the site, consider what safety features are most important to you and your family.
Here are a few things to consider:
o Airbags—Make sure you're happy with the way your vehicle's airbags are situated and the On/Off features.
o Sunshades/window tinting—Especially in the summer, it's important to keep your kids shielded from the hot sun. This will also help keep the interior of the vehicle cooler and mean using the AC less.
o Remoteless Key Entry—As any parent knows, having five hands would be preferable when it comes to having kids. Especially when it comes to trying to get kids and all their things into the car, remoteless key entry can make a big difference. It can also be an important safety feature.
o Back-up Camera—Backing up can be tricky with kids bouncing around in the back seat, or a sweet baby face distracting you from their car seat. A reliable back-up camera can help a great deal when it comes to getting in and out of tight spots carefully.
A few other things to consider:
· Interior—As anyone with children knows, they're messy, and can be especially hard on the interior of vehicles. Check to see if easily messed places such as ceilings, floors, and backs of seats are easy to clean.
· Travel—If you're into family travel, make sure to explore finding a vehicle that has enough space for you, your family, all your things, and maybe even the family pet to travel comfortably. Space means comfort when it comes to travel, so keep that in mind.
· Technology—This is a big one when it comes to purchasing a family vehicle, and might mean the difference in what car you buy. It's very important to know what you want when it comes to technology in the family vehicle, because it can be both a blessing and a dangerous distraction.
Do you have teenagers who will be driving the car? If that's the case, the less distractions, the better. Will you be commuting with your children? In that case, hands-free technology, blue tooth, and even a television might be helpful additions.
As a well known and trusted Auto Shop, Gary and his team at Stewart's Donnybrook Auto understand that choosing the perfect family vehicle can be a difficult decision for any family.
Remember, safety and comfort are two of the most important factors when it comes to buying a family car. Regardless of the vehicle you choose as a family car, remember the importance of maintenance.
Vehicle maintenance, regular oil changes, and tune-ups will help ensure your family's safety while on the road and help take care of your new investment.