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How to find the best family car for you

Arnold Clark marketing assistant Anastasia Inverary explains how she found the perfect car for her family.

Anastasia with her Kia Sportage

Anastasia with her Kia Sportage

My name is Anastasia, I’m in my early 20s and I am due to be a first-time mum in November. Along with all the happiness and excitement we’ve felt, my partner and I began to think practically about what we would need to have ready before the baby arrives. Buying a family car was at the top of our list, yet when I began researching suitable cars I immediately began to feel overwhelmed by the number of options out there. There’s a lot to consider, so I came up with four simple steps that helped me identify and find my perfect family car.

Step one: What does your family need?

Firstly, you need to think about what exactly it is your family needs and what features will benefit you. This will differ depending on the size of your family and your lifestyle.

Are you (like me) expecting your first child? Or are you a larger family of five?

Are you a city dweller who is conscious of your family’s carbon footprint? Or are you an active family that needs space for sporting equipment?

Based on these factors you’ll need to identify exactly what features you require from your car. During my search, I was conscious of the fact that I required a car that was reliable and therefore cheap and easy to maintain. I started to look at cars with a good warranty and service plan so there was less hassle later on. Secondly, with my mummy head on I of course needed a car that is super safe so I began my research. Our 'Safest new family cars' article is a good place to start. Finally, it was important that there would be enough space to comfortably fit a pram and other baby necessities.

Step two: Which brands and models fit these needs?

Once you’ve identified your family’s needs, it’s time to think about which brands and models would be most suitable.

Did you identify that you’re looking for a luxury family car? If so, you could go for a car like a Porsche Cayenne or an Audi A6. Or if you’re looking for a sporty family car maybe a BMW 6 series or a Mercedes-Benz A Class would be a better fit.

For me, brands with a good warranty and high Euro NCAP safety rating were a top priority. I narrowed my search down to three models.

Kia Sportage

Has a 5-star Euro NCAP rating and a 7-year warranty

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Has a 5-star Euro NCAP rating and a 5-year warranty

Hyundai Kona

Has a 5-star Euro NCAP rating and a 5-year warranty

All of these cars were great options, but finally I decided that the Kia Sportage would be the best fit for us, due to its style, space and reliability.

Step three: Consider your budget

Financing your new car can be a daunting prospect with a little one on the way. If you’ve got enough cash saved up, you may be able to buy your car outright, and can narrow down your search based on your budget.

However, the vast majority of us will be looking to spread the cost using car finance. There are plenty of options out there to help you do this. Our handy car finance guide lists the options available and could help you decide which is best for you.

Both cash and finance options allow you to trade in your current car and offset the price of your new or used car.

As I am expecting my first child and didn’t want to spend a significant amount of money on a deposit, I opted for the PCH finance option. This allows me to update my car after three years (the average gap between the first and second child – watch this space!).

Step four: Finding a dealership

Finally, it’s time to think about which car retailer you’ll use to complete your purchase. For me, I wasn’t just looking for somewhere to simply buy the car, I was looking for additional services and a high standard of aftersales care.

I looked for a dealership that had plenty of special offers and great service packages.

If you’re looking for a new family car, why not contact your local Arnold Clark branch today?

About the Author

Anastasia Inverary