The time is coming for me to upgrade my SUV. Since I have a third-grader and will soon have a newborn, I need a vehicle that will accommodate life with a new baby and all the gear that comes with having one. Aside from the cost of the car or SUV parents are going to buy, there are other important things to consider when buying a new car, especially when you have children.
I am sharing the Top 6 Car Buying Tips for Parents Buying a New Car.
The Safety of the Car or SUV You’re Looking to Buy
As a parent, when I shop for a new vehicle, I always look at the safety ratings of the car or SUV in which I am interested. Why? God forbid I am ever in a crash, I know that the vehicle can protect my family and me.
RELATED: Shopping for a New Car? Check Out These Car Buying Tips
To help you make a more informed decision about how well different cars will protect you in a crash, take a look at the safety ratings provided by the following:
- National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration (NHTSA) – https://www.nhtsa.gov/ratings
- Safer Car by NHTSA – https://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle-Shoppers
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) – https://www.iihs.org/ratings
RELATED: A Girl’s Guide to Car Safety
How Reliable is the Car or SUV You’re About to Purchase?
There is a huge difference in a car that you spent a lot of money on and is always in the shop for something. It’s costing you your time, safety, mental health, and more money. Make sure you do your research and check the reliability ratings of the vehicles that interest you. In addition to the above-mentioned resources, I check J.D. Power and Associates for vehicle reliability ratings.
Does the Car or SUV Suit the Needs of Your Lifestyle or Family?
There are various cars and SUVs on the market that suit the needs of every lifestyle imaginable. As parents, you should consider a vehicle that best suits your family’s needs. Below are a few examples.
- Road tripping families – If your family is always on the road, you will want to consider a car that is reliable and is fuel-efficient.
- Sports families – If you have kids with busy schedules and are in sports that require a lot of equipment you want a vehicle that has ample cargo space.
- Families with small children – If you have small children (a newborn, infants or toddler), you want a vehicle that is safe, has the LATCH system, can accommodate multiple car safety seats and allows you to easily access each row.
How Much Maintenance Does the Vehicle Need and Cost?
Some car manufacturers offer free maintenance like oil and filter changes, and even tire rotations for up to a year or until you hit a certain mileage. Having a vehicle where you decrease the burden of having to pay for maintenance like an oil and filter change that keeps the car running better and longer will help determine whether or not the car is right for you. Another thing to look at is the reliability of the vehicle.
RELATED: 5 Car Maintenance Checklist Tips to Save You Time & Money
The Fuel Economy of the Vehicle
When buying a new car or SUV make sure you check the fuel economy. The last thing you want is to be at a gas station every three days because you purchased a gas guzzler. You want to consider whether or not the car you’re purchasing will function on premium-grade fuel or regular. The difference in price can significantly increase your monthly car expenses, especially if you drive everywhere.
RELATED: The Most Fuel-Efficient Family Cars
How Much Does the Vehicle Cost?
Parents should consider the cost of the vehicle they want to buy. The cost should not only include the monthly payments, but also maintenance and fuel. When I research the vehicles in which I am interested I have found that the best places to find the information regarding monthly payments and other financial responsibilities for the car/SUV were on forums like Edmunds.
RELATED: The Best Day to Buy a New Car & Get the Best Deal
Car Buying Goes Beyond the Cost of the Vehicle
As you can see, buying a new car isn’t as simple as picking the one that looks the best, and then heading over to your local car dealership. You have to do your research because there are so many things to take into consideration, especially when you’re a parent shuffling around kids from school, daycare, road trips and other activities. However, with the tips provided moms and dads should be able to find the right vehicle that is not only safe and reliable but also functional for their family’s needs.
RELATED: Leasing vs Buying a Car – Which is Best for Families?