There are so many things to consider when buying a used car, particularly if you have more than one child. Price is obviously a major consideration for most young families, and appearance also plays a part – who want their kids to become embarrassed by a rusty old banger? Here are a few questions that may help you to narrow down the choices, when faced with a wide array of potential choices in a reputable used car supermarket, such as Carcraft:
Has It Got Enough Space?
Space is a huge consideration for families. You will need a decent sized boot from the earliest days in order to stow away the push-chair without giving yourself a hernia. Being able to get a week’s worth of food shopping inside the boot is also crucial, and large suitcases when going on a family holiday. Even if you have only one child, there will probably be times when you will have to transport friends. Some cars are deceptively roomy inside, and some have handy interior storage features. It’s worth asking about such added storage bonuses when looking round a used car showroom.
How Safe Is It?
- Airbags are a great safety feature, but should be regarded as an added extra and not used instead of seat-belts. Make sure all seats have three ‘lock points’ i.e. the belts go across the shoulders and not just across the lap.
- These days, it’s recommended that baby car-seats are placed in the center of the rear passenger seats, as research has shown that sitting in the middle can nearly half the rate of injury, if an accident occurs. If you do put a baby car-seat in the front passenger seat, make sure that you can disable the airbags first. In an accident, inflated airbags can suffocate a baby or small child.
- When choosing a car, you could enter the make and model into a website that gives crash test results or you could ask a member of a used car supermarket sales team, such as Carcraft, for their expert opinion.
- Other safety features include Antilock Braking Systems (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), and Traction Control.
- Another thing to consider, if safety is your priority, is that lighter cars have a much greater chance of being seen by other road users. Choose a white car to maximize visibility.
How Economical Is It With Fuel?
- Look at the mile-per-gallon rate (mpg); the higher it is, the more efficient the car.
- Four-cylinder engines are much more fuel-efficient that six or eight-cylinder ones. Small engines generally guzzle less fuel than bigger engines.
- Diesel cars are known for being much more economical than cars that use petrol, using almost fifty per cent less fuel than petrol engines.
- Tires make an enormous difference to how efficiently a car performs, so when buying a used car, have a good look at the service history and see how old the current tires are.
Do you have any top tips for buying used family cars? If so, please feel free to add yours in the comments section below.