The Secrets to Preparing Your Family Car
Preparing your family car for the arrival of children can be both a tiring and a difficult process. Not only do you need to fit the car with plenty of new devices and equipment to fit your children, you also need to consider getting a new car entirely—especially if you plan to have more than one child! Though it’s ambitious, it’s a goal that many families aim for and you need to have the right car to help you along the way. You’re going to be driving your children around on a regular basis to take them to school, go on holidays and even take them shopping, so you’re going to need a car that ticks a lot of boxes.
To help you with your vehicle investment, here are a couple of secrets that will help you prepare the best family car that you could possibly get. We’ll be talking about financial issues, accessories and even some alternatives to the regular family vehicle. Consider this the ultimate guide on how to prepare and choose the right family car for your future.
Step 1: Pick the Right Car for Your Family
First of all, if you’re still driving a 3-door car then it’s not going to make for a great family vehicle unless you only plan to have one or two children and don’t mind cramping them in the back. The first decision you need to make is: do I sell my current vehicle and get a larger one, or do I keep this for the future?
Keeping your current small vehicle is a great idea if you can afford a second car. You can save it for when you only need to drive yourself around, or if you and your partner need to drive to different places. It’s also good if you only need to ferry a single child around, such as taking them to a friend’s house or to an after-school activity. In short, keep your current car if it’s affordable, but trade it in for some value if you don’t see yourself owning two vehicles.
In most cases, you’re going to need at least 5 doors. This makes it easy for you to get in and out of the vehicle and there’s no need to pull down seats just to reach the back. 5-door cars are also more spacious (most of the time) and you’re going to need a fairly large boot in the back to carry things such as furniture, flat-pack items and appliances.
Alternatives to Regular Cars
The other option to consider is a pickup-style vehicle such as an SUV. These are far more expensive than regular 5-door cars, but they give you a lot more space to work with and, as such, are extremely good at carrying large items or converting into more seats. A pickup might seem like overkill, but if you’re going to start a large family then chances are you’ll be moving to another location or a larger home. With a big vehicle, you’ll find it easy to throw everything into the cargo bed and move along without hassle. As explained in this article from https://www.autotrader.com, pickups make great family vehicles, so don’t rule them out as an option.
On the other end of the spectrum, you could also purchase lighter vehicles such as bicycles or scooters. Although they don’t make great family vehicles because you can only fit a small number of people (usually two) on them, it’s worth mentioning because they make fantastic transportation options for anyone who only needs to take their children a short distance.
Step 2: Picking the Correct Accessories
THe first thing to consider is buying child seats. There are many brands and models, such as the renowned AMP Booster Car Seat that offers plenty of comfort and ensures that your child is safe and sound in the back of the car. You can read a review of the AMP Booster here https://babyseats.reviews/evenflo-big-kid-amp-booster-car-seat-sprocket if you want more information on how it works and more detailed specifications. Keep in mind that as your child grows, you’ll want to have differently sized seats.
Side Airbags and Comfortable Seat Belts
To ensure your child is safe in the back, we’d recommend both comfortable seat belts with some padding to prevent it digging into your child’s skin, and also side airbags that will help them stay secure in their booster seats (if they’re using them) and also to prevent them being hurt if the car flings from side to side. Although many cars already have side airbags installed, it’s important to note that most of these are not made to fit a child’s body. As a result, they rarely ever activate and could lead to serious damage if you don’t replace them with alternatives that support a child.
Not everyone can afford comfort accessories such as LCD screens and built-in tablet devices, but if you’re going to be taking your children out for long trips and drives, then you’ll want something to keep them occupied so they’re less likely to fidget with things in the car such as the windows and so on. Playing games and keeping them occupied can help with your child’s development, and it’s a lot more fun (and easier) than reading a book. Some cars can have entertainment systems built into the headrests of the front seats, and some even have screens that flip out from the roof of the car. These can be expensive to install, however, so if you want a cheaper alternative you could just buy a cheap tablet and mount it to the headrest of the front seat with some DIY fixes. They will need to be taken off eventually to charge, so you could keep a USB battery bank close by.
In-Car WiFi Access
There are plenty of carriers that include some handy WiFi access point options. These devices simply attach to your vehicle and use a 4G signal to create a portable wireless router that your phones and tablets can connect to. This is great if you have children who are savvy with their smartphones because it allows them to use the car’s internet without going over data limits on their personal phones. It’s also great for you to use as well, and these devices usually have much better reception and speed than your phone’s 4G connection.
Let’s not forget that you should always include an emergency kit in the boot of your vehicle. It should include basic accessories such as a warning triangle to place on the road if you break down, a small fire extinguisher, blankets and even a map of your country in case your GPS breaks down. However, since you also have children on board, you’ll want to include some extras that will help you take care of them. For instance, you could have spare changes of nappies and baby food if your child is small, or medication that is designed for children.
Step 3: Money Saving Tricks
Cutting Insurance Costs
Since you’re going to have a large vehicle, you’ll want to cut down on insurance costs to make it more affordable. This article from http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/08/car-insurance-costs.asp is perfect for anyone that wants to have a better understanding of how to reduce their insurance premiums. You’ll want to take defensive driving courses to better protect your family in the car, install security features to prevent your vehicle from being stolen and also keep it safely stored in a garage when not in use. These sound like small things, but they can add up and save you a lot of money in the long run.
Changing Your Driving Mentality
Even though you have a family car, it’s a good idea to try and find ways to use it less often. The reason for this is because running a family car can be expensive when you consider things like fuel costs and insurance, and the more you use your vehicle the higher these running costs will be. To change your driving mentality, look for alternatives to driving. For example, if you only need to drive a short distance, then consider the healthier option of walking or riding a bicycle. This will give you a brief workout and you won’t need to spend money on fuel just to drive for a few minutes. You could also take public transportation and teach your children how to get around town to prepare them for when they grow up.
Owning a family car can be a lot of responsibility, but if you follow these three main steps then you’ll have a much easier time managing it. In short, you need to buy the right car for your needs but you also need to consider all of the money saving tricks you can utilise that will reduce the costs so that it’s affordable. You also want to try and change your driving mentality so that you don’t become too reliant on your family car.