When looking to buying a family car, you will need to consider every single aspect worth counting in. Talk of space, safety, convenience, well, you name them and you have them. A family car needs a proper consideration before heading for the deal.
Space, space and more space
Overall car space was extremely important to every parent I asked. Seven-seater SUV’s or Vans were extremely popular and many families wanted three rows of seats. One mom specifically stated the need to walk through the second row to get to the very back, explaining it’s important to have easy access to the third row to personally climb in and buckle up her kids! With all this space your family dog will have lots of room to stretch out for those drives to the park.
Folding down back seats and a large trunk
For those buying in bulk at COSTO – perhaps without kids in the car – folding down back seats is vital. Many others mentioned they need to easily fit their large heavy-duty double stroller in the trunk, as well as groceries for the week. Some cool moms called it “Stow and Go”. Mini vans and SUV’s will also be able to hold sports equipment like hockey (ah, so Canadian), camping or skiing gear and luggage for those family drives up North in the summer.
Side air bags
Some parents mentioned they wanted side air bags in their family car, however this seems to be an ongoing controversial issue with multiple opinions. Perhaps it would be beneficial to purchase a car that has the ability to turn off the airbag device so everyone is happy.
Your family size is a determinant in many issues. And when it comes to a family car, the case is not any different. If you have a small size family, having one car can help cut the costs on a number of expenditures which could otherwise take a toll on your finances if you have two or more cars.
While I don’t mind the cool AC in the summer months and the car heater in the most frigid temperatures, I have come to hate having two cars. Not only are we paying higher rent for living closer to town and public transportation (which, doesn’t go to my work, in case you are curious), but we are paying for two cars. Both cars are paid off, but having two cars means the following:
Paying twice as much in insurance
Paying twice as much for registration
Paying to maintain TWO cars
Twice as much value (or close to it, as one car is worth more) depreciating
Twice as many inconveniences when things go wrong with one of the cars
Parking problems (navigating using two cars in one parking spot is getting old – although not THAT bad)
Coming to these realizations is a big step for me to curb my drive for consumerism even more. I now realize that worrying about who is going to use the car on certain days was a luxury, because of the many benefits that come with it. Now that we have lived with two cars for almost a year, I can happily say that I don’t need two cars. If we are going to continue to live in the northeast, near public transportation, which we are, there’s no reason to have two cars – at least not after the big move coming up – where I will be able to take public transportation to my new office.
One family car is good, as long as the car suffice the needs of the family. But this can be a bit tricky if the family is quite large and the car cannot get to serve everyone. Here you may have to shift to another level. Otherwise, you may have to cope with the not-so-good situations, which are close to the ones in a family without a car.
Rely on Others – At times you may need to rely on the generosity of others to get you where you need to go. Perhaps you could chip in for gas money if someone is helping you get around.
Share and Compromise – We all were supposed to learn how to share in preschool, but it can still be a challenge as an adult. You need to have very open lines of communication with your family to know who gets to take the car and when. You will need to learn to compromise.
Getting Wet – If you decide to get rid of your car and ride a bike instead, you are going to have to deal with inclement weather. Depending on where you live, this could be a really big deal, especially if you are up north where it gets really cold or down south where there are frequent storms. I have a friend who rides his bike to the bus station to get to work, and I always feel bad for him if I hear rumbles of thunder when I wake up in the morning.
Being Left Stranded – If your driver can’t pick you up, and there is a monsoon outside, you just may have to stay put and wait. Hopefully, that won’t happen too often.