This is a sponsored post on behalf of my sponsors Cars.com, however, any thoughts and opinions stated are my own.
Are you on the hunt for the perfect vehicle for your family but don’t know where to start? Believe me, I understand…the struggle is real! My husband and I recently went through this same experience when we were choosing a new vehicle for our family. There were so many things that we took into consideration, but it all boiled down to a few areas where neither of us would compromise in what we wanted and ‘just settle’. I’ve put together this list of ways to find the perfect family vehicle in hopes that it will save you all some frustration and major headaches, as well as making the road to finding the perfect vehicle just a little more smooth.
#1 What size/type of vehicle do you need?
Probably the biggest factor in choosing a family vehicle is taking into consideration the size and space you need. How many children do you have? Do you plan on having more children and need room to expand? Do you have to accommodate car seats or carpools? All of these are things that you HAVE to take into consideration above all else. If you have children you’ll obviously have to look at a practical vehicle vs. a little sports car, and if you’re a single person, you can have fun looking at all those sexy sleek sports cars while avoiding the larger vehicles.
#2 What’s your budget?
After considering the size or type of vehicle you need, you’ll want to realistically look at your budget. What you can afford to spend will help you narrow down the large categories and point you to your more realistic choices. If you’re paying in full, you may be able to look at higher priced options and negotiate a better price with your salesman. If you’re planning on financing, you need to figure out what you can afford for a monthly payment, also taking into consideration the cost of insuring the new vehicle.
#3 What kind of power do you need out of your vehicle?
This may seem like an odd thing to consider for some, but for my husband and I, this is something that ABSOLUTELY made all the difference in the world. We live in an extremely rural area of Arizona and need the durability of a more stout vehicle. When it’s monsoon season here, the washes we have to drive through to get to our home are no longer dry, and run with a large volume of moving water. A little 4 cylinder sedan just isn’t going to cut it in our neck of the woods so we stuck to looking at larger, heavy duty vehicles. You should consider the various scenarios your vehicle will face year-round and what you need out of a vehicle to get your through all these situations. Also take into consideration whether or not you’ll be towing a camper or trailer. If you want to pull heavy gear, you should consider a six-cylinder (V-6) engine. They’re generally smoother and quieter than four-cylinder engines and offer a lot more power.
#4 What features are you looking for?
Yes, this may seem silly to some, but for others the features are what makes or breaks a deal. If you’re in the vehicle for extended periods of time, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got all the creature comforts you’re looking for. Do you want heated seat and steering wheel options? Do you want a remote start? Do you want a backup camera or brake assistance? Make a list of all of the features you just can’t live without, and narrow down your list of possible vehicles based on what makes and models meet your needs.
#5 The test drive
Before making your final decision on any vehicle, make sure you test drive the models that you’re interested in. If you have children, BRING THEM ALONG! Bring along any car seats and strollers that you’ll need to accommodate so you can make sure everything fits the way that you want it to. How easy is it to get all the necessary items in and out of the vehicle? How comfortable is it to drive? How does the vehicle handle? A simple test drive will allow you to answer all of these questions first-hand so you can make the best, most informed decision when it comes time to purchase that new family vehicle.
While we all have different needs, these are the steps that I took into consideration when purchasing our new family vehicle. We typically drive mini-vans but the terrain of our new location just didn’t allow for that any more. We decided on a heavy duty truck with 4 wheel drive to allow us to get through the precarious terrain out here in the middle of nowhere. No matter what your budget, what size/type of vehicle you need, these simple steps will help you pick the very best vehicle for all of your needs without all the headache and hassle. Good luck and happy shopping!!