Tuesday, February 27, 2018

8 Tips For Buying The Perfect Family Car

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Every family I know needs one thing in particular, a vehicle. In today's world it's not a luxury, it's a necessity, but finding the perfect car for your needs and your whole family is not an easy thing to do. In fact it can be one of the hardest decisions you have to make.

Here are a few things I have learned over the years about buying a vehicle, and hopefully they will help you too. Plus you can find more tips at Cars.com 

1. Safety and Reliability ~ This is the most important thing to consider when thinking about any vehicle you buy. Do your research and find reviews on different styles and companies to find the car you will feel safe driving and having your family members in.

2. Budget, Maintenance, and Insurance ~ You may think putting all three of these together is not the same thing, but they really are. You need to make sure that you can afford  to purchase the car and continue to be able to use it. Again this is where research is so important. Our oldest son bought a car that he thought was going to be his dream car and when it broke down, he found out how expensive his dream really was. The parts that needed to be fixed were so high priced (to say the least the mechanic costs) he ended up selling the car rather than repairing it.
Here are a few questions you need to ask as you do that research.
~ Can you afford to buy new?
~ Should I lease?
~ How expensive are repairs and parts on this model?
~ What are the costs for insurance on this model?

Insurance companies are more than glad to give you estimates on specific vehicles and it only takes a short phone call to your current insurer (if you have one) to find out. Or a few clicks online and you can get a quick quote too.

3. Style, Size, and Seating Capacity ~ How many people are you going to be driving around with on a day-to-day basis? If it is just you and your spouse, a small, two door sedan would work great. If you have a couple of kids, you would need a larger four door sedan, or an SUV or a van. Do you need lots of space for hauling things like sports equipment, instruments, or strollers? Do you take lots of trips where you would need to stow luggage or camping items? Will the car seats for your kids fit in this vehicle? These are all things you need to think about to get what's right for your personal needs.

4. Gas Mileage ~ With today's economy you never know how high gas prices may go, so it's important to get the best vehicle you can that won't break your budget just filling it up. Think about where you will be doing most of the driving. Will it be around town or on the highway? 

5. Who Is Going To Be Diving The Vehicle ~ Your first response to this is probably going to be "duh", but you do need to think ahead. Your kids aren't going to be little forever and one day they will be old enough to get their licence to drive. Are you going to have this vehicle until then and is it the kind they should learn to drive in? What if you love driving a stick shift but your spouse does not? It may seem simple, but it is something to think about before hand.

6. Where You Live In The Country ~ I know, this just doesn't seem to be a big deal, but growing up south of Buffalo, New York, I learned that the kind of car you have can make a world of difference in the winter. Some cars can't handle the snow and ice well. Some rust out on the bottom and the wheel wells quickly. Does the vehicle you are looking at have front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, or four wheel drive? It can make a big difference, so you need to think about it.

7. Appearance and The Extras ~ I often find myself pointing out the colors of vehicles I like to my husband. Some just look nicer than others and aren't what everyone else has. When you can't find your car in a parking lot, having a unique color can really help.
Here are a few other things to think about:
~ DVD players for the kids
~ heated seats
~ navigator system
~ sunroof
~ parallel park assist
~ lane change warning
~ auto brakes
~ bluetooth
~ auto dimming rear view mirror
~ key-less entry

8. Test Drive ~ NEVER purchase a car without test driving it first. One of my friends kept talking about the next car she wanted all the time. She would see it on the road and then talk about it for miles as we drove. The vehicle she owned at the time had to go into the shop for some regular maintenance and the shop loaned her a car for the day to use. It was her dream car! She was so excited to finally get to drive one. Her excitement didn't last very long though. She found out that it was difficult for her to get in and out of, it was difficult seeing out the side windows because you sit so low in the seat, and did not drive well. 
Always, always, always test drive a vehicle before you buy! You never know how a car will work for you until you give it a try.

As my Mom always used to say, "think before you buy". Since buying a car is one of the largest purchases you will ever make, it's very important to follow Mom's rule and visit Cars.com!

Pictures provided by Pixabay.

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