How to Buy the Perfect Family Car

Every family goes through that phase, where the kids are growing, and things just seem smaller and smaller until just about everyone is uncomfortable. You can usually tell it is time to upgrade when everyone starts to lose interest in the great family driving holiday.

If you are not sure what to buy next or even how to do it, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are some simple steps to follow to get your family into the perfect car:

Know your Budget

Having a clear idea of your budget is easily the first step in selecting your new car. Having a known budget allows you the freedom to choose some cars over others.

Examine your take home income and decide on what is a suitable amount and that will not negatively affect your family life. Look closely for any part of your income that is not being used to their full potential, could you funnel that money into something better? Are there any wastages that you could cut back on?

After you have a budget, you can start looking about to see what type of car is within your price range. Take note that often second-hand vehicles, while being a much cheaper option than buying new, can have a hidden history. Using a service such as Carify can uncover any past issues with older cars.

A Lease or Outright Purchase?

Leasing a new vehicle is becoming a popular option in Australia. This is because you can use your pre-taxed income to lease a vehicle of your choice. There are some negatives with leasing a vehicle, the main one being that you don’t actually own the car, and often will need to hand the car back after the lease agreement is over. But for the right person leasing can be a suitable option for buying outright.

Which is Better: New or Used?

The decision between new or used can be answered in one simple question. How long will you keep the car for? Usually for a new car to be worth the purchase, you need to keep it for the lifetime of the vehicle, this can be ten years or more. If you plan on upgrading your car as your family needs change then it may be more cost-effective to select a good used vehicle.

New vehicles usually come attached with a premium price tag, because no one else has driven the car and you can be guaranteed about the driving history of the vehicle. But their value is reduced to the moment you drive it home.

Used vehicles, depending on age can often be a better option. The manufactured year of a car can affect the price and you may find large discrepancies between identical vehicles even if they are only a year or two apart. While you can’t guarantee the driving history of any used vehicle, using Carify you rest assured that nothing untoward has happened to the vehicle.

Where to Find Your Next Vehicle?

There are many online websites available to use in helping you find the perfect vehicle such as autotrader.com.au, Gumtree.com.au, carsales.com.au or Facebook Marketplace. If you are prepared to travel, the entire country can be at your fingertips (often the further you get from major cities the cheaper cars become).

Pick a website that seems trustworthy and use this as your searching base. Search for cars that fall within your budget. Then refine the search by the features you are looking for. Most people that upgrade a car are looking for one a few years newer than they currently drive and added safety features.

What to Look for in a Family Car

If you’re not sure about the features you may need in your next family car, here are a few of the most common ones:

  • Keyless Entry – many newer cars offer keyless entry. They either have a button to press or operate remotely when the key is nearby. This is perfect if you regularly find yourself juggling items as you approach the car.
  • Reversing Camera – a safety feature of many cars. A reversing camera can alert you to anything lying on the ground behind the car. With practice and skill, it is possible to reverse into a car park using just the camera.
  • Storage Space – a good family car will have plenty of space. Look for fold-down or removable seats. Often you might need to carry large items such as prams and bicycles, think about how these will fit in the car.
  • Entertainment Systems – WIFI, Bluetooth, and drop-down rear-facing televisions, are all a staple of many family cars. If your family needs the distraction and entertainment for those long road trips, look for a car that has, or can be upgraded to include these.
  • Safety Rating – All cars have a safety rating. This can be a combination of how the car performs in an accident to accident avoidance systems. There are a few websites that will list vehicles and their safety rating. Find the car you are interested in and compare it to other models released that same year.
  • Car History – Other than safety ratings, learning about the history of the car is very important to avoid fraud from untruthful sellers. It all comes down to safety. You can purchase a revs check/ car history report from Carify or other online services.

For more details in how to buy a used car, check out Carify’s Buyers Guide.