Growing Family? How to Find the Perfect Family Car
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Growing Family? How to Find the Perfect Family Car

Australians love their small vehicles, but sometimes a growing family just needs something with a bit more room to move. At some point it's time to say goodbye to the sporty two door car and say hello to a four door sedan, or even a minivan.

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Growing Family? How to Find the Perfect Family Car

When considering a car that will be best for your growing family, think about how much you expect your family to grow and the type of car that will best suit your overall needs. Do you expect more kids? Long weekend trips away? Bringing the friends along? And what about storage space?

Let's take a deeper look at preparing to find your next family car.

Features of a Family Car

Beyond a working engine and four wheels, the most important feature of a family car has to be safety. ANCAP has a convenient feature on their website where you can either search for any make and model to quickly see the vehicle's safety rating, or sort cars by safety rating if you haven't thought of a specific vehicle yet.

Space is also a big factor in a family vehicle – nobody wants to try to pack kids into a sardine can on wheels. Many makes of sedan can comfortably fit families of 4 or 5, with ample boot space for storage. Vans and SUVs offer generous leg room and storage space in the back to carry luggage, and are perfect for families who have big camping trips. Wagons are another popular style for families, as these hatchback models have a lot of space in the back and plenty of room for a third seat, if necessary.

Put some thought into the amenities the vehicle will have, too. Most family-oriented vehicles these days come with touch screens and LCD displays on the backs of the front seats so that your kids can be entertained during long drives. Reversing cameras are also invaluable tools for people who aren't used to driving a large vehicle for parking and reversing.

Write down the features and amenities you want in your car, in order of preference. You can take this with you to the dealership when you go to purchase the car. Make sure to distinguish between features that are high and low priority – a touch-screen for the kids might be nice, but will it really be a deal-breaker to miss out?

Will You Buy New Or Used?

With a growing family, you're likely looking for the best value you can get, and that means buying used. Even a relatively new second-hand car can be substantially cheaper than buying first-hand – a vehicle loses about 11% of its value the second it's driven out of the dealership.

Getting a better deal on a vehicle also gives you the option to get a larger SUV or van. These vehicles are inherently more expensive, so the money you save buying second-hand can go towards securing a larger vehicle fit for your family.

Of course, buying a used vehicle has some risks. You want to know the history of the car; its condition; how safe it is, and other things. How do you check?

Checking a Used Car's History

Luckily it's very easy to check the history of a used car to find important details about its past lives. How? By requesting a Comprehensive Car History Report, also known as a PPSR report or REVS check, from revscheckreport.com.au

A comprehensive car history report pulls information from the Personal Property Securities Register to give you a complete overview of the car's history. The Personal Property Securities Register, or PPSR, is a national database that collects information on all registered vehicles – be they motor vehicles or boats – in the country. The second a vehicle's VIN is registered in Australia, it appears on the PPSR.

The PPSR can give you information on the following:

  • Whether the car has ever been written off.
  • Whether the car has even been reported as stolen.
  • Whether the car still has money owing on it from a loan.
  • The make, model, and engine part number for the car, so you can check the details for authenticity.

By checking the PPSR, you can find out whether you're buying a vehicle that's still financially encumbered, or a car that was listed as a repairable write-off and fixed. When buying a used vehicle for your family, you want something safe that will last you for years – not something which may have had dodgy repairs or get repossessed from under you.

Your Family Car Checklist

So, bringing this all together: when you're looking for a new car for your growing family, here are some things to look out for:

  • Safety rating
  • Storage and passenger space
  • Amenities and features like entertainment systems and reversing cameras
  • Value for money
  • Comprehensive car history report from quickrevs.com.au

With this checklist on hand, you'll be on your way to finding the perfect vehicle to suit your family for years to come.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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