It’s exciting to be in a place where you’re finally “in the market” for purchasing anything new – especially a vehicle. At the same time, what comes with vehicle shopping is strolling through car lots, dealing with the sales patter of the guy working on commission, and committing to a vehicle that needs to keep your family safe.
If you’re in me and my husband’s shoes, it can be tough when you know very little about engines, and you don’t know your spark plugs from your chassis. However, purchasing a family car doesn’t have to be difficult. Since the Huddlestons are in the market for a new vehicle, I wanted to share three things to consider when purchasing your family’s next set of wheels.
There are so many styles to choose from these days. My first piece of advice (and this goes for myself too) is to always look at more than one style. While you might think that one particular style is the one you should be seeking, there may be plenty of others that could better suit your lifestyle a little more.
Also keep in mind that while a particular style may seem like it wouldn’t fit your needs, car brands are now trying to tap into the more millennial style of family. These individuals are keen for a little more excitement in their car rather than a simple boxy design. (You remember the old saying, “Driving around in a boat.”? LOL)
And for those of us with multiple kiddos, the style of car often depends on the amount of car seats. One tip I want to share here is purchasing a change-as-they-grow car seat is the best investment ever, especially for the safety of your family, no matter where you’re road trips take you. Even if you plan to go a stylish car route, like a convertible, one of the tips is to try and use the safest convertible car seat.
Simply put, there are lots of styles to choose from. For our growing family of six, we are leaning toward the super versatile, horse powered Dodge Grand Caravan. After renting this vehicle for a trip last year, we fell in love with the style and with the feel of safety it provided. Speaking of which…
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An integral part of your buying consideration should be safety. As responsible parents, we all want to ensure the well-being of our kiddos. Head onto the NHTSA website run by the United States Department of Transportation to examine the results of hundreds of safety tests for the particular set of wheels that you are looking at. Weaknesses and strengths are explored, and a rating out of five is given. These are easy to read and understand, and can help with your choice of car.
At the very least, you should be looking for cars with airbags, side impact bars, and ABS. Newer vehicles can come with technological advancements that try to minimize the chances of collisions with automatic braking if an obstacle is captured through motion sensors fitted to the vehicle. Mind. Blown.
Try to buy a vehicle within budget. I say this because once your eyes start to see all the cars, it can cause you to go beyond what you established before even heading to the car lot. Remember, the purchase price of a car may be low, but you must factor in running costs such as insurance and fuel economy. Sometimes it’s better to spend a little more up front and know that your tank of gas will last you a full week. Hybrid and electric vehicles can be even more economical to run (although pricier to buy) and can help you become more carbon neutral in your day to day activities.
And if budgeting isn’t an area that you do well in, hiring a Budgeting Strategist may be the route to go! I personally know of a good one who will help you get your finances in order so that purchasing your family’s next vehicle will more enjoyable versus a financial burden! Give Chardai a call and tell her I sent you! 😉
Buying a new car doesn’t need to be too taxing. Follow this guide, and you could have an awesome set of wheels parked up on your driveway very soon!!
CHIME IN: Share some of your car buying tips in the comments below!