14 Must-Follow Tips for Buying a Family-Friendly Car

So you've reached the point where you're actively searching for the best family-friendly car money can buy, huh? That's a big step for you and your family.

Thankfully, I'm here to help. I've bought a few family-friendly vehicles in my life, and I've learned a thing or two along the way. I've curated a thoughtful list of must-follow tips for this type of car buying. It will make your decision less overwhelming and ultimately push you toward your dream car. Let's get to it!

1. Choose Something Reliable

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Nobody wants a car with a higher-than-normal probability of breaking down in the middle of an epic family road trip. Focus on vehicle reliability ratings during your search to ensure you won't be susceptible to breakdowns.

Veer away from new model years following a total redesign; in many cases, these vehicles are the most unreliable. Stick to tried-and-true designs from manufacturers that have been on the road for years.

2. Keep Safety in Mind

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

I'm sure safety is at the forefront of most parents' minds. However, it's still harrowing how often I talk to parents who brag about their new family car, which has an alarming lack of safety features. (I get it, pal. You're bragging about your new Jeep Wrangler, but it isn't exactly the safest vehicle on the market.)

Prioritize airbags, sensors, and modern safety features (like automated braking) and keep your family safe out on the road.

3. Always Negotiate

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The art of buying a car is the same whether looking for a high-performance sports car or a traditional family vehicle. Always negotiate for the best price; your wallet will thank you later.

I recently negotiated a car purchase entirely through email. I was pleasantly surprised by how straightforward and transparent the communication process was. It made the whole “negotiating” thing far more manageable and less intimidating.

4. The Bigger, the Better

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Choose a vehicle that has cavernous interiors. Why? So you can pack as many kids, luggage, and other items as possible. Future-proof your family by buying a new car with plenty of interior space. Going car shopping every time you have another child would be awful, so think ahead.

Bigger is better, especially when shopping for a family-friendly car. Getting your kids in and out of a vehicle should be easy, not mind-numbingly tricky.

5. Choose Something Slow

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Who needs a fast car when your family's safety should be one of your top priorities? There is no need to break the bank for a vehicle with an impressive 0-60 time. Your kids won't be impressed. Your significant other will definitely not be impressed.

Choose something slow. Choose safety over speed. It should be the easiest decision you'll make.

6. Make Entertainment a Priority

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Keeping your kids occupied is most parents' highest priority, and it carries over to when the entire family is in the car together. Many family haulers focus on entertainment for the kids, so perhaps your search should center around that.

Many offerings have built-in entertainment screens in each seat rest and plenty of USB ports to ensure that whoever sits in the back seat has many entertainment options. Your kids will love a car with those kinds of features!

7. Do Research

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Don't be shy; use your internet skills to research extensively before buying. Buying a family-friendly car is one of the most significant purchases you'll ever make, so don't take the job lightly.

Compare manufacturers, brands, styles, reviews, and anything else you feel will sway you in one direction. There's no such thing as “too much research;” the more information you have at your disposal, the more streamlined the process is.

8. Keep Monthly Payments Low

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Driving your family in a new vehicle shouldn't put you in the poor house. Be sensible with your monthly payments. Put down as much money as possible to keep your monthly payments low. Nothing is worse than sacrificing something to keep paying off your car.

Being frugal is part of being a responsible parent, car owner, and otherwise upstanding citizen. Don't throw money away if you don't need to.

9. Consider Lower Trim Levels

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

You're wasting your time if you're considering anything but a vehicle's lower trim levels. You're looking for a family hauler; you don't need anything high-end.

After a few years (or even months), your kids will most likely destroy your car's interior. Wouldn't you rather those little monsters tear down cheap, hard plastic surfaces instead of wood or leather? Exactly. There's no need to buy a car with high-end finishes.

10. Look For a Car With Plenty of Cupholders

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

When buying your family the ideal car, you must keep one of the most essential features in mind: the number of cupholders inside it. This often-overlooked aspect of car shopping is overwhelmingly important.

It's simple: the more cupholders your car has, the happier your family will be. It's science. Please don't deny it.

11. Prioritize Fuel Efficiency

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

It's time to face the facts: your new family car will inevitably be put on road trip duty countless times. Whether you originally intended your vehicle to be used for this purpose is irrelevant. It will happen.

Therefore, prioritize fuel efficiency. Not all cars, trucks, and minivans are created equal, and at the end of the day, you'll be glad you purchased a vehicle with excellent gas mileage.

12. It Must Pass the Kid Test

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

I'm shocked how many parents overlook this essential aspect of car shopping! It's straightforward: your kids must love the car as much as you do. Please don't buy a car you know your family will hate; they'll resent you.

If your children and significant other love the car, you've won one of the most challenging battles. Ultimately, it's about them. (So stop thinking about yourself so much.)

13. Don't Overlook Used Cars

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Look, I know firsthand that, sometimes, buying a brand-new car isn't financially possible. With that in mind, don't be afraid to scour the used car listings for hidden gems. Even better, look at certified pre-owned vehicles from local dealerships.

You can often find massive discounts on gently used vehicles that your family will love just as much (if not more, in your spouse's case) as a new car.

14. Test Drive it First

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Don't sign anything without giving your prospective vehicle a thorough test drive. How are you supposed to know how your butt's gonna feel after a long road trip sitting in the driver's seat if you don't test it first?

The test drive is necessary for any vehicle purchase but is beyond essential when purchasing a family-friendly car. I would hate to bring home a vehicle that I don't feel comfortable or safe driving because I was too lazy to test drive it first.

Author: Chris Phelan

Chris Phelan is an American culture writer, frequently dabbling in the travel, finance, and entertainment fields. He currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina where he is constantly amazed at the number of black bears wandering down his street on any given day.

His work can be seen on Wealth of Geeks, NBC, Bravo, USA Network, Yahoo, and countless other online publications.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.