When you’re young, free and single, it’s easy to choose a car. You simply pick what works for your lifestyle, or something you like the look of. However, when you’ve got kids in tow, things get a bit more complicated, as you need something that can cope with the demands of day to day life, as well as standing up to a lot of wear and tear. Here are some things to think about when picking a family car.
- Interior space
Even cars that look big on the outside can have cramped cabins or small boots, so choose something that has enough space for the entire family. If you have more than two kids, you may want to choose a seven-seater car, especially if you are always ferrying around your children’s friends. Most seven-seater cars can easily be converted into a standard five-seater by folding down the back two seats, and this gives you lots of space to carry pushchairs and baby equipment.
- Cabin height
If you’ve ever tried to load a struggling child into a car seat, you’ll know it’s a lot easier if your car isn’t low to the ground. Recent changes in the law mean that children must be rear-facing until 15 months, although it’s recommended they stay in this position as long as possible, and it’s much easier loading them into an SUV or MPV than a small hatchback.
- New vs. used
Brand new cars have a lot of exciting features, but if you’re spending a lot of money on a car, or making monthly payments, then it can be nerve-wracking to have children in the car with muddy boots and sticky fingers. A compromise may be to look for your nearest approved Ford dealers, as you can see both new and used cars, allowing you to see what you can get for your budget.
- Handy gadgets
It’s never been easier to keep the kids entertained on long journeys, with newer family vehicles offering features such as:
- WiFi hotspots
- TVs with DVD players or aux inputs
- Power sockets for charging tablets
- Built-in GPS so they can see much longer the journey will be
- Safety features
Any concerned parent will want to know their car’s safety rating, and it’s easy to look up online, which will give you a percentage score for safety for adult and child passengers. Some cars have enhanced safety features, from seatbelt reminders to side airbags, or the new deployable bonnet which pops up in the event of a crash to protect passengers in the front. If your kids are still in car seats, you’ll probably want to look for a car with Isofix, as this makes it easier to fit baby and child seats safely and securely.
It’s not always easy to choose a family car, as you want to balance safety and space with style, but luckily there are many more family-friendly vehicle options coming to the market to please the pickiest of parents.