Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Open Discussion

How To Find The Perfect Car For Your Family

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article

Finding a car for the whole family can be quite the challenge. Not only does it involve finding something that’s perfect for your needs in terms of commute and utility, but also gas mileage and lifespan. Plus, when you factor in your finances and what you can afford, this entire process can be mind-boggling (especially if you need something done right away). However, that’s why I’m going give you a few helpful tips on how to buy a car the whole family can enjoy. Check them out below:

Get Your Finances In Order

If you’re going to be buying a car, then one of the first steps you need to take is getting your finances in order. As a car can be quite the necessity to get you and your family around, the worry of falling victim to a predatory loan could potentially be pretty terrifying. And as you’re most likely trying to buy a car sooner rather than later, this is something you should hop on ASAP.

To begin, take a look at your current credit score, as well as how it stacks up against the average. As noted by ValuePenguin, the average score of 695 can be a pretty hard number to achieve in a short period if you’re still rebuilding. And with the average used car costing around $16,800, coming up with a savings plan might be your best bet.

Create yourself a budget on the max you’re willing to spend on a car as a total cost. Furthermore, it’s never a bad idea to start getting a feel for the type of interest rate you might receive as well as how you can combat that with savings. The more of a down payment you’re able to put down, the better off you’ll be in paying interest, so try to find a balance in how patient you can be with the urgency of the situation. As this is one of the hardest parts of buying a car, it’s also one of the most important, so take your time to put yourself in the best situation, as this is something you could be paying off for years.

Figure Out The Need

Once you’ve established what your budget is, the next step is to figure out what type of car you’re going to need. As a person with a family, this can be a hard choice, especially in knowing what’s necessary for the price point versus what you want. However, that’s why it’s important to sit down with your significant other and talk through what each other thinks.

A big part of the utility of a car deals with how much usage it’s going to go through versus in what situations. Granted, car manufacturers have also started to adapt to consumer needs, for example, as noted by Forbes, SUV sales rose 12 percent in the last year alone, with a contributing factor to that is they’re becoming more cost and environmentally friendly. Whether you want to check out the latest SUV range or explore the features of a comfortable sedan, make sure you’re making the best decision for everyone involved.

Get Shopping

Once you’ve made your decision on the type of car you’re after and the price point you can afford, then the final step is to get shopping. As noted by Elephant, this process can take around 15 hours, which for something that you might be attached to for 5 to 10 years, is somewhat surprising. Because while I understand that this is an immediate thing for some, it’s also something you should view as an investment, which is half the buying process.

When buying a new or used car, don’t be afraid to search far and wide for the perfect car for you. Furthermore, it’s important to know different hacks and strategies to know that you’re getting the best value. For example, if I were to buy a used car from an individual or small dealer, then paying for a certified mechanic to do a pre-purchase inspection would be advantageous to ensure that I’m getting the best deal.

Don’t be fooled by the price and mileage, buying a car that requires quite a bit of maintenance down the road is never a fun place to be in, and something you should try to avoid at all cost. Remember, buying a car is all about getting something that you feel is well worth the depreciation on it, so make it something you fall in love with.

What are some qualities you look for in buying a car for your family? Comment with your answers below!

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.