When buying your first family car, whether that is also your first car or just the first car you’ve bought with family in mind, there is a lot to think about. Anyone that reads a lot will know that I passed my driving test this year. I’m lucky enough to be buying my mum’s old car. So, I’m reasonably sure she’s not selling me a death trap. But, with many new drivers opting for a second-hand car there is a lot to think about.
Even if you are buying new, or from a trusted source, if you are planning to go on long journeys with the kids in the car, you will want to be certain it’s 100% safe. Here are some tips to help you.
Make Sure the Car Seat Fits
Most modern cars can use an Isofix base. But, if you haven’t got one you’ll need to make sure the seat belt in the car is long enough. If you plan on extended rear facing and have one of the seats that are suitable rear facing up to four years you may find that some older cars seat belts aren’t long enough. So, check the requirements before you buy.
Check the Safety Ratings
Do your research. Even when buying a second-hand family car, it’s possible to check the safety ratings of the vehicle online. Also, read reviews written by other parents and ask around. Get as much information as you can before committing to a car.
Getting a pram into the back of a car can be a nightmare. So before buying either a car or new pram, make sure they work together. If you find your pram doesn’t fit later you could end up trying to store it unsafely, causing damage and potential risks to safety.
Think About Access
3 door cars are often cheaper, but is that going to be convenient when it comes to getting a child in and out? Especially if you are also carrying bags or shopping. Test drive the car and make sure you know how everything is going to work.
Check the Tyres
Tyres are one of the first things on a car to show wear. Even if they’ve been replaced recently it’s worth checking for yourself. If the tread is worn or the tyre is damaged they can quickly become dangerous and the car may not be legal to drive. Please make sure you also check the spare!
Replacing your tires regularly can dramatically extend the life of your car and it couldn’t be easier to do. You can even book an appointment online. Cheap tyres in London are available on DAT tyres website if and when you need them.
Check the Engine
Obviously, the engine is a pretty important part of a car. Open the bonnet and have a good look. Make sure it doesn’t look damaged or like it hasn’t been looked after. If you’re as clueless as me, ask someone else to check with you. You should also always make sure you use the correct oil as incorrect oil can cause the vehicle to perform poorly.
Make sure you thoroughly check the service log, MoT history and all of the dashboard lights. Take the car for a test drive to check breaks and gears. If you have any doubts or the car feels wrong in any way, don’t buy it.
Remember, you can’t put a price on safety so take your time and make sure you get it right when buying your first family car. Then have a great time taking your family on fun summer days out enjoying the convenience of it. I can’t wait!
*This is a collaborated post.