10 Things New Parents Should Consider Before Buying a New Car
Nothing changes your car needs quite like having a baby. Suddenly sleek and sporty gives way to safe and practical. If you are a parent with a young family or are expecting your first baby, it’s probably time to check out a family car. Read on for some tips on what you need in this family car.
- Overall Space
Just about any parent will tell you that SPACE is a necessity when buying a car. Whether you have one child or four, you’re going to want something roomy. Maybe even a * gasp * minivan! New parents will be shocked at just how much stuff they’ll need to cart around for just one baby or toddler.
And if you have more than one kiddo, the amount of stuff you’ll need to take along with you just multiplies.
- Space for Car Seats
Room for car seats—another important feature. With multiple children, or even just the school carpool, you need the ability to fit multiple car seats and boosters in your car. Ideally, you want to be able to fit three car seats securely across the back seat, using the anchor systems. Car seats are bulky, and smaller cars usually can’t accommodate three across the back seat. You’ll want a larger, wider car for this reason.
- Fold-Down Rear Seats
Rear seats that fold down and a roomy trunk are godsends. They can fit just about everything you need: the double stroller, the pack n play, the ice chest, your husband’s Callaway golf clubs, luggage, Fido—you name it.
- Sliding Automatic Doors
I can’t say enough about this next one on the list. Sliding automatic doors. Best. Thing. Ever. This makes parking in tight spaces much less of a hassle. It’s so easy to just slide open the side doors and get everyone buckled in, without any risk of dinging the car parked next to you with your car door. If someone forgets to close their door, the driver has a button up front that will close the doors automatically. No one has to get out—amazing.
- Third Row Seats
Third row seats are a must-have, especially if you often drive with more than three kids. And most of us will, when our kids start having friends over. SUVs and vans offer these (and they also fold flat when not in use, giving you tons of extra cargo space).
- Captain Chairs
If you have a larger family and need that third row seating, you may want to have the option for captain chairs in the second row. Having that opening in the second row to walk through helps parents easily get to the back seat to buckle those car seats. It also means less shoeprints are on your seats from kids climbing over. The piece between the captain chairs can be put back in when needed to make a bench seat for more seating, or just as cup holders.
- Entertainment Features
If you’ve traveled with children, you know the importance of keeping them entertained on road trips. When “I spy” gets old, the snacks are gone, and the whining ensues, being able to pop in a DVD is a real sanity-saver. You’ll thank yourself for investing in a car with entertainment features such as DVD players. Pro Tip: You can also opt for portable entertainment options to supplement your travels—especially if your chosen vehicle’s entertainment add-ons are out of your budget. Check out the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition and your kids will be jumping for joy.
- Keyless Entry
Your hands are full of babies, toddlers, and groceries, and the last thing you want to do is put everything down and look for your keys. Keyless entry and automatic car starters are the epitome of convenience. Car is opened (and/or started) at the touch of a button. Tailgates and side doors can also be opened remotely.
- Safety Features
Above all, you want to keep your family safe. A lot of parents will only consider cars with a five star rating. You want to do your research on crash tests, rollover statistics, and air bags before deciding on a vehicle. Browse a variety of different makes and models to ensure you’ve got the safety aspect on lock. For example, if you’re looking at new VW cars for sale, take the time to explore all models on the lot—you may have come in wanting a wagon but find that the sedan offers better safety features.
- Try It Before You Buy It
Don’t rule anything out or assume you already know which car is right for you until you drive it. And don’t just drive it, examine it. Does it accommodate your car seats? Does it have anchors for 3 seats? Does it allow a car seat in the third row (some warn against it)? This is a big investment and something you’ll have more at least a few years as your family grows. You want to get something that checks all of your boxes.