I had sold the car I had used throughout my 20’s when I moved to San Francisco. With public transportation and with Cassidy’s car, there was just no use (and no parking) for another car in the city. I missed that car for awhile, but also loved my “new” family car. It took us safely from San Francisco to New England, via a rambling, out of order, 2.5 week cross country trip, and it’s also the car we used to bring our daughter home from the hospital. We got incredible use of it.
When I was pregnant with Des, Cassidy said, “It’s time to get a family car” and then we got our minivan. I remember signing the paperwork, exhausted, queasy, and completely sure that we had gotten the right vehicle for our family. It turns out, I was right! Choosing a family car wasn’t taken lightly and I’m happy we did the research. We followed these five great tips:
1 – Evaluate the car’s safety features. You’ll want to analyze the car’s performance in crash tests, low rollover statistics, the LATCH system for car seats, all airbags, lap and shoulder belts on all seats, antilock brakes, interior trunk release, and of course, a backseat that accommodates car seat(s).
2 – Consider how you will use your family car. How many kids and pets do/will you have? Where will you be doing the majority of your driving? What is the weather like where you live? Where will you park during your day-to-day lives? How much storage will you need, both now, and within a few years of using your car.
3 – Take the ultimate test drive. And I mean, all the bells and whistles! Can you get to your kids or pets easily? Can the kids get in and out themselves (if they’re old enough)? Are you all comfortable? Will this car fit into your busy lives?
4 – Look at all of your options and features and weigh your pros and cons. All cars are made differently, and it works that way with families! Here are some features to consider as a priority or not: Safety locks on rear doors and windows, air-conditioning, fabric/fabric protection, satellite radio, snack and cup holders, video systems, etc.
5 – Do your research thoroughly. I felt ill-prepared when our daughter was born and we had to get her safely home. I LOVED reading about how Cars.com conducts car seat checks. You have a lot to learn here!