If you’re after a car that will house more than two people regularly, then there are certain features you must look out for.
Sure, we’d all love to own that fancy sports car or that convertible, but you can’t just think of yourself in this situation!
Luckily, buying a larger family car has never been easier. There are so many choices available today, from used to brand new, old to the latest model. This means you can afford to be both flexible and frugal, netting yourself a quality ride at a bargain price.
But, ultimately, what should you be on the lookout for? What features would be most beneficial to you in this shopping scenario? Both excellent questions, and one’s this blog post will attempt to answer in detail. Below, you’ll find several features that would make a car suitable for large groups, or indeed, families. Happy shopping!
#1 Lots of space
Of course, a car for more than one person or couple means that you’ll need room. Lots of it. Some cars, like the Honda Civic, are naturally large and contain plenty of storage. Other cars, like a Mini, are smaller and not generally suitable for families. Sometimes, it’s just obvious that a car will or won’t work for you, so bear this in mind when browsing.
Don’t just judge it off pictures, either. Some cars look smaller than they actually are, so visit a showroom to get the full picture.
#2 Low running costs
In all likelihood, you’ll be using this car quite a lot. Taking the kids to school, taking yourself to work, after school activities, going on days out and trips away. So, it’s important to look at cars that are cheap to run, or that are very reliable. The more reliable the brand, the less you’ll be shelling out in maintenance costs.
And these costs start with the initial purchase. Have a shop around with used dealers like www.harratts.co.uk, and don’t just jump at the first deal you get offered. Be patient! It takes a keen eye to spot a bargain. But starting used is the best way to go. Used doesn’t mean poor performance, or lowered reliability. Far from it. It simply means a lower price.
You have to factor in running costs like fuel, maintenance and repair, road tax and insurance. Some cars are more fuel efficient than others, while some family cars are more reliable than others. It’s up to you to decide when the time comes to purchase.
#3 Five doors
This one can be more of a minor annoyance than a dealbreaker, but still, it’s better to try and have everything! The increasing trend of cars having only three doors (driver, front passenger, boot) is becoming quite common. If you’re looking for a larger, family car, then this may not be suitable for you.
It can make stopping for bathroom breaks a nightmare, as everyone needs to climb over each other to get out. As we just mentioned, it’s hardly a dealbreaker, but it could save you a lot of hassle further down the line.
#4 Sliding and folding seats
Going hand-in-hand with the ‘create more space’ feature comes the ability to fold down seats. Basically, this will create more space in the rear of the car, perfect if you have fewer passengers but more luggage. You can even slide your seats to create more legroom, if you have a particularly lanky guest with you that day.
Sliding rear seats also make it easier to bring children closer to the front seats. This is good if you want to be able to talk to them more clearly, or pass them drinks more safely. Not all cars have this feature with them, so take a thorough look at the product description.
Occasionally, you may buy a car that says it can fold and slide seats, but you can’t work it out. Sometimes, it’s not really obvious how to actually fold your seats down! There’s plenty of information on this though, from sources like www.youtube.com, so have a look around.
#5 Little tips and tricks
At the buying stage, be on the lookout for any little tips and tricks that could make a particular vehicle more suitable for a family. It all depends on how many people the car will be for, and their ages, but there are some things that are universal.
For example, it would be a good idea to find a car with a child lock. This is especially useful if you have youngsters who are of a lower age, as it’s another security measure. Safety guaranteed! This makes your car safer to drive, as kids won’t be able to open the doors mid-journey.
Also, it might be a good idea to find a car that allows you to turn off the passenger airbag (if it has one). This is in case you want to place a child seat in the front passenger seat; you must turn the airbag off in this case. If you can’t, you could cause some serious damage to the youngster.
Elsewhere, since you’ll have a lot of people using the ride, it would be great if the car had plenty of small nooks and crannies to store items. This could be a small drinks holder, or underfloor storage areas sometimes found under the rear seat foot space. We previously discussed the merits of more space, but this kind of space is more item-specific – like drinks holders.
And finally, other features such as UV-tinted windows could protect you and your passengers from harsh sunlight. Also, rear-mounted DVD players and TV screens would be a good idea to keep any young passengers entertained. Actually, it would be good to keep any passengers entertained, too! There are plenty of other car tips and tricks to look out for, so keep those eyes peeled.
Of course, there may not be one particular car that hits all these points. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try! Prioritise the features that are most important to you, and put them at the forefront of your shopping trip.
It’s a never ending battle of making your cars better and also trying to be better yourself.