Buying a family car can feel overwhelming, whether you’re upsizing to accommodate the little ones or it’s just finally time for an upgrade. With so many options to choose from, it’s often hard narrowing down the option that ticks every box. Together with Savvy, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to buying a family car that should leave mum, dad, and the kids satisfied for years to come!
1. Safety comes first!
When buying a family car, keeping your loved ones safe is the priority. Your car should have a five-star ANCAP safety rating, which includes curtain airbags, ABS, traction control, lane-keeping assist, emergency braking, reversing cameras and proximity sensors. If it doesn’t have five-stars, chuck it off the list.
2. Get a budget sorted
Like any major purchase in life, you need to set a budget. How much can you afford to spend on your new car? Are you trading in? This can make an impact on your bottom line. With baby (or baby number two or three) on the way, budgeting is crucial.
3. The things you can’t live without
The type of car you buy will be shaped by what you cannot live without. If you have a big family, you may need third-row seating, which throws sedans right out of the mix. If you have kids well out of nappies, child seat anchor points may no longer be a priority. If you’re “mum’s taxi”, then ample storage will be necessary. Find cars that tick all these boxes and add them to a short list.
4. Nice to have options
Depending on your budget, you may have a wishlist in your car; an infotainment centre for the little ones on long trips; conversation mirrors to find out who really started it; satellite navigation to help you out from day to day. If you can find a car with the musts and these nice to have options and come out under budget, you’re on to a winner.
5. Save money: car loan pre-approval and negotiation
Consulting a loan broker and getting car loan pre-approval can help take the hassle out of buying your car and give you a leg up in negotiation, as Savvy CEO and car finance expert Bill Tsouvalas explains: “Getting a car loan pre-approved gives you what’s known as a price ceiling. This is the maximum amount your lender will give you once you settle on a car you want to buy. If you aren’t comfortable with negotiation, a pre-approval amount will always be in the back of your mind. If you approach a dealer and they can’t meet your price ceiling, you have to walk away. A sale is always a win for the dealer; leverage that to your advantage.”
Tsouvalas also says buying models already on the floor can also help you save money, as well as going to dealers at the end of the month, as salespeople are eager to make quota and bonus commissions.
6. Test drive, test drive, test drive!
It’s important you test drive the car – with the kids if you can – to know how it responds to the road, whether the comfort level is right, and if there are any niggles or annoyances you’d rather live without. In the age of COVID-19, remember to carry hand sanitiser and adhere to any dealer instructions to ensure you and your family’s safety.