The process of purchasing a vehicle can be overwhelming for anyone with so many models and options available. As a parent, it can be demanding since you have to take into account many things before making a decision.
After all, it is a major purchase that has to keep your family comfortable and safe for years. Also, it should meet your needs. For a future parent, doing thorough research beforehand can save you a lot of frustration and money.
Read on, to learn what you need to look out for as you choose your family’s ride.
Although everyone wants a safe car, as a parent that requirement takes on a new meaning. Thanks to websites such as Gettacar, you can get certified used vehicles that are safe for you and your kids.
You get to shortlist the vehicle with recommended safety ratings before settling on your choice. Regardless of how beautiful a vehicle looks, it is probably better to skip it if it fared badly in crash tests.
It is a good idea to check vehicles with the best safety ratings on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
It is a great idea to establish how much space you will need for carrying child cargo. You can measure strollers and diaper bags among others. Determine the minimum cubic feet of cargo space you need to avoid purchasing a small vehicle.
Probably, you have thought of the number of seats you want the car to have. However, keep in mind that an 8-seater vehicle does not guarantee the safety of all the occupants.
Also, consider the available space from the front to the back of the vehicle and the legroom for backseat riders. It is good practice to anticipate other passengers besides children.
Type of vehicle
As a future parent, you have the option of going for a sedan, minivan, station wagon, or SUV. However, most parents dislike vans, they are the best for getting children in and out of them.
Thanks to the sliding side doors, you have a wide opening especially when you park next to a car. A minivan may not be cool, but it will make things easier for you compared to an SUV or car.
You probably do not need an SUV or a minivan, so a station wagon can do the job. Some even offer third-row seats ideal for occasional carpool runs.
Today, there are various options that parents look for especially when transporting kids for their safety. First, ensure the vehicle provides childproof locks and windows you can lock.
Keyless entry can be handy when walking to your car with your hands full. Also, power tailgate is a blessing. What’s more, a push-button start is remarkable to avoid fumbling for your keys just to set the aircon.
Purchase a child car seat before you go vehicle shopping
Studies indicate that 3 in every 4 cars are wrongly installed. When properly installed, a child car seat should move no more than 1 inch. So, it is wise to install the seat in the vehicle before you can make a purchase.
Determine the ease of installing and removing the child seat. Request the salesperson to show you where the latch system is.
Headrests in vehicles offer more than just comfort. No one including bolstered children should travel in a vehicle without head support. If you fail to take this into consideration, it will result in severe whiplash and neck injuries in an accident.
Most rear seats, especially the center seat in the third row do not have headrests. It compromises the safety of its occupant.
Besides, there is a new trend of headrests that angle forward. So, establish if the headrests can interfere with the installation of a child seat and if they can be adjusted.
You need to establish if there are enough seat belts. Also, ensure they are appropriate and safe for occupants riding in the back. In the US, vehicles sold in the country since 2007 are required to include lap/shoulder belts in all seats.
A lap-only seat belt is not safe for a child or an adult; hence, they are only suitable for installing harnessed seats. So, if you are looking for an old used vehicle try to avoid vehicles with lap-only seat belts.
Since you will have the vehicle for several years, it makes sense to think beyond the current needs. If you plan on having more children, will the vehicle accommodate all of them safely?
Keep in mind some will be bigger than others. Discuss the number of people you want in the family and buy accordingly. Alternatively, you can lease a vehicle so that you can switch sooner if necessary.
The thing is, it may not be logistically or financially possible to trade a vehicle in a year. To avoid any surprises, think long-term.
Try before buying
Some future parents may shy away from requesting the salesperson to let them install a child seat in a vehicle. They will gladly allow it if they are interested in selling the car.
Try putting the child seat facing forward, rear, or as a booster. Establish if the seat fits and if it can be installed securely. Also, check if you can separate your kids so that everyone can ride safely.
Take your time
You should not rush to decide which vehicle to buy. Visit an auto show in your area to check all the possibilities under one roof. You will even have the opportunity of talking to other parents.
This way, you can learn about the pros and cons of choosing certain vehicles over others.
Future parents usually look for larger vehicles because of the new addition to the family. Although choosing the right vehicle can be stressful, it is among the most important decisions new parents have to make.
In this post, you learned about vehicle buying tips to consider for future parents.