How To Shop For The Best Vehicle For Your Family

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

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Going car shopping can be an exciting, overwhelming, and rewarding experience! When you're younger and childless, you're looking for some specific things in a vehicle. Maybe the style, how fast it goes, the right shade of red, etc. Maybe you didn't used to care about the room in the back seat or if your trunk was really big enough for that subwoofer.

And that is fine. Before you have a family.

How To Shop For The Best Vehicle For Your Family

Now that you have a family or maybe you are starting one, it's a whole new ball game! There are so many things to consider when buying a new vehicle and you've got to find the best kind for your growing family!

What should it have? Where should you look? Are there measurements you need? How much trunk space could you possibly need?

There are so many questions that you might not even be thinking about that already need to be that's why I'm here! Telling you exactly the ins and outs of what you need to consider when buying the best vehicle for your family!

The Car Seat

This is probably the biggest thing to consider, honestly. The biggest worry! What is more important than the safety of your little one strapped in the back seat of this vehicle?! Obviously, when you are buying a car seat, you check out the safety ratings and price of so many different brands. You might even test out some in the store to see how cushy they are for your precious little bundle! But have you considered how easy they will be to install? It's definitely something to think about! All car seats should install easily and safely inside every single vehicle. Unfortunately, that's not always the case.

How To Shop For The Best Vehicle For Your Family

There are several things you want to take into consideration when considering the back seat that is holding your car seat. First, is there enough space? For the first two years of your child's life, they should be riding rear-facing in an infant (until they hit max measurements) or convertible car seat. These seats take up quite a bit of space. If you already have a car seat, it is best to bring it with you when car shopping. If you don't, consider bringing measuring tape with you. From the back of your seat to the back seat should be at least 35in (with you sitting comfortably in the driver's seat). Convertible car seats can easily recline and take up 35-38in. Unless you have a Diono seat (which allows for bracing against the front seat), you have to have an inch of space between the car seat and your seat for safety.

How To Shop For The Best Vehicle For Your Family  Cargo Space

I don't know about you, but I like to leave my house super-prepared with my kids. Toys, books, water, snacks, tablet, diapers, wipes, change of clothes AND shoes for both, and maybe even a change of shirt for me (kids are gross). I also always have at least two baby carriers and a stroller in my trunk. Sometimes I also have a second car seat. Then I like to be able to buy groceries or have space for my shopping bags, in general. Will the car you're looking for have all that room? What sort of things are you planning to bring with you? If you just need a small stroller and a diaper bag, you could get away with less space in the trunk. But you never know--you may end up wanting more. It's something to think about.

Personally, I like having a hatchback vehicle. Scratch that--I demand to have a hatchback. In my home, we have a Dodge Caravan and a Hyundai Sante Fe. The van, of course, has plenty of space and always will. But when we were shopping for a second vehicle, I made it clear that I wouldn't even consider a vehicle that didn't have a hatchback. I have a 9 year old, and I like to be able to have her reach into the trunk and grab the backpack/lunchbox/purse/whatever else is back there. It makes life a whole lot easier for us, since I don't need to pull over to grab things. It also makes me feel safer with my kids, since I know those items are in the trunk, they are less likely to become projectile objects if we were in a crash. It's little things like this to think about.


 My whole life, I grew up with older vehicles. Nothing with any bells and whistles, and certainly no "extra" amenities (like enough cup holders). If you plan on having more than one child, you might want to invest in things like that. Makes sure there are cupholders, pockets in the seats, etc. Again for projectiles, but also because it makes life a lot easier being able to have little pockets the kids can have their toys in reach, but also can put them away.

Also, think about those charging ports. My kids don't function well in long car rides without their tablets. Fortunately, our Hyundai has plenty of charging ports and we have double and triple chargers in the car with long cords, so the kids never have meltdowns over a dead tablet.

Comfortable Seating

Last, but not least, comfortable seats! This is important not only for the obvious, but for spinal health. Comfortable seats means no damaged backs, slumping over kids, headaches, etc. It keeps you and the kids happy, and that is important with any vehicle! We want to be happy with our choice of a family vehicle, as it is carrying around our most precious cargo.

I hope that these suggestions have helped you in your search for a great family friendly vehicle! For info on checking to see if the car seat you have is easily accommodated by the vehicle you have or are searching for, head to the link below!

How To Shop For The Best Vehicle For Your Family

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