Whether your family is expanding this year, or you feel like you’re ready for a vehicle upgrade, there are a lot of things to think about when it comes to choosing a new car, particularly a family-friendly vehicle.
According to CarInsurance101.com, you’ll have to think about safety, roominess, how the vehicle with grow with your family over time, and how buying a new car will affect other expenses such as the cost of your insurance premium.
While every family is different and their needs are unique, the following are some things to think about and consider when choosing a new vehicle in 2020.
Set Your Budget
Beyond all else, your budget is going to be the main determinant of the car you choose for your family. You want to create a specific budget because this will help you narrow down your options and focus your car search without wasting time.
You should always create a budget based on the total cost of the car, instead of thinking about your monthly payments.
If you only consider monthly payments, you might be tempted to extend your loan term so that you can buy something more expensive.
After you’ve defined a budget, decide if you’re going to make a down payment and if so, how much of it you’re willing and able to pay.
While you don’t want to base your budget on payments, you do want to make sure you do some calculations so you know what your payment may look like.
Think Both Long-Term and Everyday
When you’re buying a family-friendly car, you want to look at everyday use. You want to think about what your schedule looks like on any given day with your kids. You’re probably dropping them off at school and activities and potentially driving other kids around as well.
You may be going to the office, buying groceries, and doing home projects on the weekend as well.
Consider what your daily life really looks like and then, think about the long-term as well.
How will your needs stay the same or change as your children get older? Is there a potential that your family could grow? How long do you plan to keep the vehicle you choose now?
How Old Are Your Kids?
If your kids are babies, your vehicle needs may be different than if you have school-aged kids, although of course as was mentioned you do want to choose a vehicle that can grow with your family.
When your children are babies, the biggest concerns are safety features and then how easy it is to install and remove car seats. It’s important to find a vehicle that has wide enough doorways and a high enough seat height that you’re comfortable getting your child in and out.
If you have school-aged children, you’re thinking about a vehicle where your kids can independently get in and out of their booster seat and then climb out of the car without help.
Regardless of the age of your kids, some amenities can be well worth the potential extra cost. Of course, TVs in the back seat with DVD players is a big one. You also want enough storage space in the back, and you should look for a car with a good sound system and A/C and heating system in the back.
What Are the Best Features for Families?
If you’re shopping for a new vehicle, you’ll find there are some amazing features available that might not have been an option even just a few years ago.
Some of the coolest and safest features you might want to shop for are:
- Driver assistance systems: These systems combine cameras, microchips, sensors, and radar, and they help with things that can typically be dangerous such as lane-departure and blind-spot management. There are also rear cross-traffic monitors and adaptive cruise control features. Some vehicles have automatic brake features in case of a potential collision, and there are cars that have steering that will keep you centered in your lane. These are features that can mean the difference between life and death for parents who are often, unfortunately, distracted drivers.
- Already briefly touched on was the importance of in-car entertainment when you have kids, especially if you do road trips regularly. You might look for a vehicle with a WiFi connection so everyone can use their mobile devices, and it can also help you with things like navigation. Some vehicles, including the new Honda Odyssey, have full infotainment systems with streaming subscription content, games and more.
- How amazing would it be to have a vacuum cleaner built right into your vehicle? Now, you can have that. Many cars are offering onboard vacuum cleaners, but this tends to be a high-end feature still, so you may end up paying a premium for it.
- A few years ago you had to buy sunshades for the backseat windows to protect your little one’s eyes and help them sleep in the car. Now, even affordable vehicles have built-in sunshades and if you go with a high-end model, you might be able to get electric power shades.
- In vehicles like the Kia Sedona, there is something called lounge seats. These second-row seats feature a captain’s seat design, and they recline and have a folding footrest. It’s like being in a plane when you’re in the back of the van.
Finally, did you know you can now buy new vehicles with electric coolers? It sounds like something out a dream world, but everything from high-end Mercedes models to Honda Odysseys has this available. These built-in coolers make it easy to keep snacks and drinks on-hand.
The electric cooler can potentially keep cold for the entirety of a trip, and these usually have both AC and DC plugs.
With all the new technology and features, if you’re looking for a new family car in 2020, you’re going to find better safety and more amenities than you might have even thought possible. It’s a great time to shop for a family-friendly vehicle.