Parents have a multitude of options when choosing the best vehicle for their family. With all the available vehicles currently on the market, finding the best vehicle can be an overwhelming task. Thankfully, the internet can make researching vehicles and features that are important to you and your family much easier. When my husband and I were in the market for buying our new family vehicle, we used the internet and sites such a as Cars.com for comparing options, pricing, features, safety and fuel efficiency.
By using Cars.com, a user friendly website with an abundance of vehicle information, you can easily navigate vehicle options and determine the best vehicle that meets the needs of your family. They make car buying easier by housing unbiased reviews, a variety of research information, service and repair details and even vehicle model review videos.
The following are a list of questions that you can ask yourself to determine what vehicles are best for your family. When thinking about these questions, you should consider what your family’s needs currently are and how they could potentially change during the lifespan of your ownership.
1. What is your family budget? The first aspect you should consider when you are in the market for buying a family vehicle is what exactly your available budget is. The goal when purchasing a vehicle is to not break the bank. Start by setting a realistic budget and follow through with it. If you need to finance, determine how much you can afford to finance every month. An important consideration is to also research the insurance premium for the vehicles you may be interested in. Call your insurance provider and ask what these premium costs would be and determine if you could afford both payments. Remember to also leave some financial room for unexpected expenses such as family illness, rise of day care costs, additions to the family or unexpected loss of job.
2. What are your family’s driving needs? How many children will be in the car? Are you thinking of expanding your family? Do you carpool? Does your family haul equipment or large cargo? Most vehicles will hold up to five people, but if you are planning or already needing a vehicle with more passenger room than that, consider vehicles with third row seating. If you are a family that carries a lot of cargo such as sports or outdoor equipment, you will need to find a vehicle that can suit your family’s lifestyle. Some larger SUVs or four door crew cabs will be better suited for your family.
3. How Important Are Safety Features To You? Safety is an important priority for many parents. Be sure to research vehicles with high safety ratings and their collision records. Sources such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publish completed tests on vehicles and are a great resource of vehicle safety information. Cars.com references the National Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety testing for all vehicles makes and models listed on their website.
4. Considerations For Power And Fuel Efficiency. Another aspect of purchasing a family vehicle is how much power and fuel efficiency is needed for your family. Options today include the conventional gas powered vehicle, hybrids, diesels and electric cars, all with varying power and fuel efficiency. Hybrids are a newer type of vehicle and in many cases, can perform the best fuel efficiency in their class. Newer diesel vehicles have been revamped to be quieter and faster than their previous models. Electric vehicles which are now on the market, can travel a certain distance with absolutely no gasoline in the tank. All of these vehicles have a variety of power deliverables too that range from minimal to high horsepower. Overall, manufacturers have upgraded and revitalized their fleet of available options, so research is key to finding the best best vehicle for your family.
5. Scheduling A Test Drive. Once you have done your online research and are more familiar with the best vehicles for your family’s needs, it is time to schedule a test drive. Take your family along to see how everyone would fit in the vehicle. If you have young children, make sure to bring the car seat for this test drive. Test how easily the child seat is to attach to the vehicle and how easy it is for everyone to get in and out of the vehicle as well. In addition, verify if there are any heating and cooling vents since not all vehicles offer this feature, as well as making sure the children can see out the windows. If you currently use a stroller, make sure it fits comfortably in the test driven vehicle. Remember to not feel pressured to purchase the vehicle the same day you test drive it and to use this time as an occasion to ask the salesperson any pending questions.
Purchasing the best vehicle for your family can take time and research. Using Cars.com and their available resources can help you navigate through an abundance of vehicles in the market and make one of life’s most important purchases.