For many, buying a car can be a stressful experience. There are so many different options on the market, and families typically look for specific features. A family car needs to be able to accommodate everyone, as well as uphold safety expectations. Each family is different, but the following list is a great tool for you to use to identify what you are looking for in a family car to make your car search less stressful:
• Safety – This is the first and most important consideration. Before buying a car, do research by looking at crash-test ratings, airbag numbers and locations, seat belts, and other safety features. Check out http://www.safercar.gov/ for this type of information.
• Seating – It is important to consider how much seating space you already use, as well as how much you might need in the future. Perhaps your family will grow, or you will be helping out aging parents or grandparents. You may want to consider having extra space for kids’ friends, especially for carpooling or school sporting events.
• Accessibility – Assess how easy it is to get in and out of the car based on who will be riding in it regularly. Older adults may need a low step-in height and something to grab to get into the car. For smaller children, there will need to be enough room for a car seat, with space to spare to get the child in and out safely. For older children, you may want to see if they will be able to buckle their own seat belts and get into the car without bumping their head.
• Storage – The cargo area/trunk of the car should fit your specific needs. It may need to fit a stroller or luggage. You may want to make sure there will be enough room for family equipment, such as sporting goods, bikes, or skis. Cup holders and trays can also be an important storage aspect if children will be riding in the car.
• Simplicity –The car should make life easier, so a family may want a car that has simple controls, buttons, or touch-screens. Hands-free communication is also a feature that families look for to help eliminate distractions.
• Personal Preferences – There may be extras that you or your family would find helpful and worth paying for. For example, if you live in a colder climate, you may want remote start and heated seating. If you take long drives, you may want in-car entertainment and outlets or ports to charge devices.