Are you due to upgrade the family car? Your old model may have some mechanical issues that are too expensive to fix. Or you’ve added a member or two to your family and need more room to get all the kids where they need to go. Or you might just feel like splurging and buying a new family car.
What To Consider When Upgrading Your Family Vehicle
Whatever the reason, you need to make an informed purchasing decision. You shouldn’t rush into a major purchase like a new family car, and naturally, many things must be considered when finding the right vehicle model to suit your household.
We’ve compiled this informative article to share the top five things to remember when upgrading your family car. Read on to learn more.
1. Consider the costs
Cars are a big purchase – especially if you’re buying new to ensure that your family can enjoy modern safety features. So before you even consider narrowing down your list of potential family cars to buy, you need to know your budget. This figure could be dictated by your available savings in the bank, or the amount you can obtain if you secure a car loan. With a clear-cut budget in place, you can start to shop with more confidence for a vehicle that possesses all the features you need and also happens to fall within your price range.
When determining your budget or borrowing capacity (if you’re looking to secure finance for your new purchase), don’t neglect to also factor in the ongoing expenses associated with car ownership either. These can include insurance, registration, regular maintenance and servicing costs, and tyres and tolls.
Insurance is also worth discussing in more detail because if you were driving an older model, you might have only had a third-party insurance policy, as the older model wasn’t worth the cost of comprehensive insurance. However, you will need a comprehensive policy with a new family car, so factor in the cost here too. You can get quotes before you buy the new car to see how much damage you’re up for each month or year. An annual premium can be better value for money if you can afford the upfront cost.
2. Fuel Efficiency
There’s one other ongoing expense that we feel deserved its own pro tip, given the rising cost of living Australia’s currently facing. This is the cost of fuel, and the growing importance of fuel efficiency. Fuel efficiency is an essential consideration for all Australian families, as the fuel economy of your family car will determine how much you can travel with every petrol fill-up. Your car’s fuel efficiency will also determine how much you’ll pay at the bowser each time you fill your tank.
It’s worth mentioning that family cars tend to be on the larger side, and larger cars tend to consume more fuel than smaller models due to their size. With this in mind, try to pick a make and model with a relatively decent fuel consumption rate. You can find more information about your car’s fuel efficiency on manufacturer marketing materials, or even on websites like the Australian Government’s Green Vehicle Guide.
However, it’s also worth researching fuel efficiency on forums and Facebook groups. This is because other people may be able to share how much fuel their car model consumes, which may be different to the rate advertised by the car manufacturer. This doesn’t happen often, but in the event that it does, doing a little independent research here could potentially see you save hundreds if not thousands in the long term.
3. Technology and Entertainment
Another factor to consider is the tech integration and entertainment options available in all of your shortlisted vehicle models. Most modern cars will have Bluetooth connectivity and hands-free phone connections as a standard feature, meaning you can take and make calls while on the go. Some models will integrate with Android or iPhones, allowing easy navigation and the ability to read text messages while driving.
And then there are some deluxe or luxury car models that will also feature screens embedded in the backs of driver or front passenger seats, or in other locations where all backseat passengers can just sit back and enjoy a good movie. These entertainment features are typically perfect for keeping kids entertained during those long family road trips.
4. Safety Features
When shopping for an upgraded family car, ask the salesperson questions about its safety features or what can be added/ Some advanced safety features that are stock standard in modern cars are Advanced Braking Systems or ABS. These systems assist you to brake suddenly and safely to avoid a severe collision. Another safety system that most models have is lane drift detection, which alerts you when the car begins to drift out of a lane. This is an essential safety feature as it assists you in avoiding a crash on multi-lane roads or hitting a curb.
Other safety features to look for are airbags, reversing cameras and proximity alerts, which most family cars will have. And while we’re on this topic, most families feel more comfortable in an SUV or a 4×4 rather than a sedan – especially for longer road trips. The greater elevation and sturdy body of these vehicles can innately provide extra safety, security, and comfort for your family when on the road, regardless of whether you’re embarking on a road trip or simply setting out on the daily school run.
5. Storage Space and Size
A great new family car will always have decent storage space. This is vital for families, mainly if you must drive the kids to dance practice or sports matches with all their bags and equipment on board. More space will also make grocery shopping, running errands, and transporting friends and family much more accessible. A seven-seater may be the way to go if you have a large family.
Be sure to also look for boot space when shopping for a new family car; if the storage space is ample, it’s an excellent match for your family. And remember that you can always install roof racks to place a storage pod on top of the vehicle for additional storage. For more storage needs, you can install a tow bar allowing you to tow a trailer or caravan – great for road trips and camping.
Next time you shop for a family car, be sure to keep this little list handy or at least in mind. That way, you can boost your chances of finding a people mover that truly caters to all the unique needs of your loved ones.
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