Buying A Family Car? Read These Tips First!

A happy family in a car. Thinking of buying a used family car in Melbourne? Read these tips first or hire a professional pre-purchase car inspector like German Precision!
Starting a family brings an abundance of important decisions and lifestyle changes. In that mix is your choice of car—what vehicle will you choose to carry the most precious cargo you’ll ever be responsible for?There are many vehicles on the market and the options can be overwhelming, but they don’t have to be a daunting task. Before buying a family car, read these tips first!

Honest and Professional Pre-purchase Car Inspection in Melbourne, VIC

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice, through to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.
We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.

How Much Can You Afford?

First thing first, how much can you spend on a new family car—be it new or used?

There’s no point buying something that’s too expensive, where the repayments will stress the family budget for years to come. Plan carefully, think about how much the car costs to run as well as the initial costs (things like insurance, fuel efficiency, warranty and service, ongoing registration, etc), and don’t spend what you can’t cover. Period.

What Do You Use The Car For?

Is yours mainly a plain suburban route between school, work, the grandparents and the supermarket? You might not need that enormous off-roader SUV that’s going to chew up petrol for no reason then.

Even if you think to yourself, “But we’ll go camping! If we had this car, we’d go off-road all the time!”, the reality is if you haven’t done those trips already, before children, it’s unlikely you’ll do them regularly after children. Or at least, regularly enough to warrant spending more money on one.

But if you live in the country and have to travel 50km to your letterbox across rough terrain and spend weekends crossing rivers and pitching tents, that giant SUV could be just the thing for you.

Choose your car based on how you use it. Granted, in Australia, people are mad for SUVs when it comes to family cars, and with good reason. They’re higher off the road and bigger, so you feel safe in them, plus you’re not bending down to do the child seats up. And they have bigger boot space (some of them). Some sedans really do have a lot of boot space).

Consider An SUV Or A People Mover

There is a reason SUVs are the weapon of choice at the school drop off/pick up war zone. Their upright driving position offers better visibility over traffic. Their height means they are easier to get in and out of with kids and groceries; you’ll do your back twisting and lowering a snoozing baby into a low car. SUVs generally hold more stuff.

Also, consider people movers. While decidedly uncool, they offer practical motoring at their best. Their sliding doors are brilliant when it comes to ushering kids into the car. Not to mention eliminating dinged doors in the car park.

Don’t forget, it’s not just your own kids you’ll be ferrying around. You’ll also play taxi driver to all their friends and sporting groups, so consider whether you need a 5, 7 or even an 8 seater model.

Make Sure You Will Be Comfortable During Long Trips

A woman sleeping in a comfortable family car
Not only you should think about choosing between an SUV or a people mover, but you should also choose a car that will be comfortable for a long trip.

This family car is also bound to be your everywhere car, which means you’re going to use it for holidays and road trips. Make sure every single person inside the car will be comfortable during these times!

Check The Safety Features

These days, you really shouldn’t be buying a car that doesn’t have airbags that cover all rows of the car. Then there are child seat fixtures called either tether points or ISOFIX points, depending on what kind of car seat you have. Both of those things should be standard features in a family car.

But there are a whole bunch of other, newer features that are just coming into play which you should also consider. Things like auto emergency braking (the car will stop itself if you’re about to hit something in front of you); blind-spot monitoring (a light will show on the side mirror if you have a car in your blind spot); lane departure warnings (beeps in case you veer off out of your lane), reverse parking cameras (a camera that shows you the road behind you, great for parking.

Some cars now have 360-degree cameras which will show you all around your car (super useful), and adaptive cruise control (which will keep you safer on long drives and in traffic).

Know The Fuel Type And Efficiency

Petrol, hybrid, electric—they’re all a bit different in terms of fuel consumption. Make sure you get the one that best suits your needs.

Manufacturers will always have an official fuel consumption expressed as litres per 100 km. But this is usually a combination of “urban” and “extra-urban” aka freeway conditions. The manner and usage in which you drive your car could make that quite different. For example, if you do lots of school runs and stop-start city driving your fuel usage will be higher.

Does It Have A Big Boot?

A family of four and a family car
Kids come with a lot of equipment. While you might not be in the market for an SUV, you’ll definitely need as much cargo capacity as possible for prams, school bags and toys—not to mention the four-legged family member.

When you’re test-driving a car, bring your pram or stroller along and see if it will fit in the cargo area with room to spare.

If you’re shopping for a more compact car, check to see how easy it is to fold the rear seats in case you need to increase capacity.

Take Advantage Of The Test Drive

Don’t be afraid to take the car out for longer than the usual ’round the block trip, especially if it’s a used family car.

People often think they won’t be allowed to drive it for a while but that’s not the case. If you’ve got something at home you want to test it with, for example, if your garage is small and you want to be sure it will fit, ask if you can test drive it home. They will let you. They want to sell you a car.

Consult A Professional Car Technician In Melbourne

Never buy a car without researching. If you can’t choose, consult a professional like German Precision.

We have engaged with many clients for independent, personal car purchase advice. Whilst we are not a CAR BROKER, we have assisted clients with discussions on MAKE/MODEL/YEAR/VERSION of vehicle best suited to their needs, and with low ‘grief’ factors. In some cases, clients, especially repeat clients (and we have many), have asked us to either source a car for them, or assist in the negotiations.

As much as some of us think we’re backyard mechanics, you can’t go past actually getting a used car checked out by a professional to determine whether it is mechanically sound. There’s nothing worse than driving away with your new purchase, only to find that it has an issue that is going to cost you dearly.

And if you want to buy a secondhand car, have a professional inspector like German Precision to do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection in Melbourne to ensure that your dream car is operating properly and not a scam.

If you are looking for the best pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: caradvice.com.au, booths.com.au, carsguide.com.au, stayathomemum.com.au, whichcar.com.au