After having kids, thoughts on your car will probably change. They did for me. No longer was I mainly concerned about the cuteness of my car or how many discs it would hold. My mind totally switched to safety and other important features I wanted for my kids. I realize now that I did have safety in mind but I didn’t think about other important factors as well. Here are my biggest tips to help you find the right car for your family.
Stay in Your Budget
When I brought home baby number 2 I immediately saw that we needed a bigger car. Even though I had a nice compact SUV with the all the new baby gear I had to lug everywhere again plus a 5-year-old and all of her stuff I saw my nice sized car getting smaller and smaller. After 2 months we made the plunge and became a mini-van family. It was a great car- it had everything we needed but too much.
After driving the minivan for less than 2 years we decided to trade it in. Why did we do it? There were a number of reasons. Was it safe? Yes. Did it have enough room for us? Yes. Was it within our budget? No. This was the problem. Though the minivan was very nice it was brand new. We had on a whim gone to a dealership and traded in my perfectly fine SUV for this big family minivan because I thought we needed it. In reality, we couldn’t afford it. It was right at the time when I was losing some of my work hours and working more part-time (which I loved) but that meant less money. The monthly car payments were very high and it created more stress for our family.
Test Drive/Research Several Cars
I wanted to still be able to stay at home more with my kids so making a switch to a smaller SUV was a no-brainer for me. We did some research online comparing cars and looking at ratings. Cars.com is a great site to use for your search. You can look at both used and new model cars and find the closest to you. I love the search options that make it easy to find just what you are looking for. I would definitely recommend going out and driving several cars. You never know what a car is going to be like until you actually are in it and driving around. You need to be driving since it will be your car!
With kids, safety is a top priority, especially when you have kids still in car seats. I make sure my car seats fit in the cars. Did you know that not all car seats fit well in cars? It’s true. Some fit better than others. A good tip is to bring your car seat with you as you are test driving cars to make sure you get a good fit for it in the back. Since I have 2 kids but only 1 is in a car seat, I made sure there was plenty of room in the back for both kids and 1 extra passenger if needed.
How did you find the right car for your family?