***This is a sponsored post, however rest assured that all opinions expressed in this post are my own. (Because honestly, do you think I could live with expressing anyone else’s opinion?)***
So you have come to a point where you need to upgrade the family car. Where do you start?
You have so much on your plate with kids activities, household chores, bills, and your family. Now all of a sudden, a car shopping is on the table.
Don’t worry, while it is a big commitment, it isn’t as hard as it seems. Here are my 5 steps to help to find the perfect family car:
Determine your Budget
Yeah, I know. No one likes to start off in the money realm, but it is essential in the process of finding the perfect car for your family. So how do you determine what is right for your budget? Honestly, you may want to sit down for this one.
Yep, sit down with your significant other and start to hash over the bills. Where do you have money left over? What kind of money are you comfortable committing to a new bill that will last over the course of the next 3-8 years? This is something that you are going to want to make sure that decide on before you even start looking at new vehicles. Make sure that you and your partner have the same number in mind before you walk out the door. This will ensure that you stay within your budget when you actually start shopping.
Decide on the Must Have’s
Heated seats? Remote start? Built in DVD player? Drop down disco ball with an led lit floor? What does your ideal car have to have?
Make a list of what you would like to have in a new car, and what your family car must have. Have your partner do the same. Once these are finished, it is time to sit down and do some collaborating.
Obviously, chances of you finding a car that satisfies every one of your hopes and dreams is probably pretty slim, but at least this will leave you guys going shopping for something you can both agree on. He have to have the heated seats, and you are dead set on remote start? It is a whole lot easier to know the musts going into car shopping, then to get to argue it out on the car lot.
Determine Sizing Requirements
Guess what guys? Size totally does matter here.
How many do you have in your family? Are you looking for a vehicle to fit the kids and friends, or just a here to there vehicle? Need something for family road trips? You are going to need room!
When I became pregnant with our third child, size totally became an issue in the vehicles we had. At the time my youngest was born, we still had three kids in car seats. This being said, when we went car shopping, we knew we had to find a vehicle that could safely accommodate the car seats that we had for our children. On top of the kids and car seats, we knew we had to be able to fit a stroller, as well as the groceries, and be able to fit all of our stuff for family road trips. Kinda crossed a compact car off our list.
Do your Research
I cannot stress this enough. When you have finally gotten to the point that you have decided on the features, price range, and size that you are looking for, it is time to dive into brand research!
Now, I know that this may seem like homework, but I promise you, knowing the ins and outs will make you feed so much better about your decision! Start looking into different brands, makes, models and see what is on the market to fit your needs.You can start this research on Cars.com (where you can go to find a ton of information). While you are over there, check out the car seat check page to see how newer model vehicles are sizing up on car seat safety! Certified car seat technicians have reviewed several different makes and models in order to take the guesswork out of shopping for the right car for your car seat needs.
Also, be sure to ask around to your mom friends and in your mom groups and get some of their opinions on their family cars as well. Find out as much as you can before you hit the lots shopping.
Speaking of hitting the lots, once you do decide on the make(s) and model(s) that are right for your family, search for matches in your area on Cars.com. The can point you directly to the lots that have exactly what you are looking for and cut down on the run around for you. With all the running you already do with the kids, a few extra minutes in your day could totally turn into a coffee break!
Don’t be Afraid to Shop with the Family
I know, I know. You are totally thinking I am crazy at this point. Now this mom wants me to drag off with all of my kids, plus my partner to go terrorize car lots looking for a car when I am already stressed.
Yep, that is exactly what I am asking. I promise though, it is not as hard as it seems.
When you go car shopping for the family, you need to make sure that the vehicle meets the family needs. What better way to do this than to actually put all the kids in the car and let them check it out with you? How are you going to know if your tween daughter has enough leg room in the back seat if she is not there to try it out? Is your toddler’s feet going to be able to reach the back of your seat when he is throwing a temper tantrum? Seriously, the best way to know is to try it out.
Worried about what the salesman will think? Here is a secret for you. The best salespeople will encourage you to know the car inside and out, and to let your monkeys give it a go to see how the family fits. No, I do not recommend trying to take your children’s muddy shoes or upset tummy’s into brand new cars, but on a normal day, feel free to give it a go!
After the Decision is Made
Once you have made your final decision and your purchase is made, take a deep breath. You did it momma! You helped your family to find the perfect car for both safety and reliability for your family.
Did these tips help you in your car new family car purchase? Do you have any additional tips for family’s shopping for a new car? Let me know in the comments below!