Family Life

Tips for Buying a Family Vehicle

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Anyone buying a family vehicle any time soon? Are you like me, toting around two little ones and two dogs and occasionally a grandma or two? Then you have to know how difficult it can be to find the right car! I’m a researchaholic when it comes to car shopping, because I hate test driving. I don’t know why, exactly. I got a 100% on my driving test and have no incidents on my driving record so I know I’m a good driver. Yet I still feel like a test drive is all about the salesman judging my driving and not about me judging the car. Crazy, right? Anyway, since buying a family vehicle can be super stressful and time consuming, I wanted to share a couple of tips with you.

1. Research

Bet you’ve never heard this before. You’re rolling your eyes, right? But listen, buying a family vehicle isn’t like when you went out to buy your first little beat up car. You have to think about safety. You have to think about gas efficiency. And, perhaps most importantly, you have to think about how you’re going to cram all those little ones in the backseat when they now have to be in a car seat until they’re old enough to drink. Even if you don’t hate test driving, you should start with online shopping. Bust out your Excel sheet and make a list of all the cars you like, their prices, safety ratings, gas mileage, and anything else important to you. Next sort the sheet by price and then by one other item of your choosing. Now look at your top options. Those should be the ones you test drive.

2. Think long term.

If you’re buying a family vehicle, perhaps you are having your first child, or you just completed your family of four. You could choose something that fits the four of you and you’ll be fine, right? Wrong! Your kids are going to have friends. One day, you might get them a pet. Eventually Grandma’s going to come visit and she’ll need to be carted around too. A good family car has an extra spot or two for temporary passengers. I personally only considered cars with no less than seven seats, and the back row had to fold down. That ensured my two kids could fit in the middle row, and then I could either carry my parents in the back seat or put it down and bring my dogs. It was a wise decision.

3. Most Importantly – Remember Car Seats!

Check your car seat when buying a family vehicle

I can’t stress this enough you guys. If you’re buying your first family vehicle, I’m guessing you still have babies. Car seat safety is so so so important. I said earlier they stay in them until they can legally drink. Obviously that’s an exaggeration, but kids do stay in car seats a lot longer than they used to. To start, go to for their safety check.  You’ll probably be there anyway since it’s a great place to do your car research. They have a really helpful breakdown of what fits in family cars, and trust me, you will want that. Car seats are bulky, so they don’t fit just anywhere. I settled on a Traverse, and we can’t get to our backseat right now. That works for us since we put the dogs back there anyway, but it does go to show you, check it out!

Well, those are my tips for buying a family vehicle. Research and narrow it down to your favorites before you test drive. Make sure you have a little room to grow, and, of course, make sure you find something spacious and safe for car seats!

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  1. These are all such great tips. I plan on needing a family vehicle in the next few years, so I’ll be keeping these in mind!

  2. Yes, take the car seats along to be sure they fit comfortably in the back! We also just got our “family” car!

  3. Shell says:

    These are fantastic tips to help what could be a stressful purchase easier!!

  4. These are such helpful tips! Car seat room is so important

  5. Thank you for this post! We don’t have to buy our own cars at the moment but when we do this will totally come in handy!

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