Putting Family First When It Comes To Your Car
We all have a different definition of what family means.
And I don’t want to exclude anyone, but most of the time, a family vehicle means large, safe and easy to use.
There are so many choices out there today.
And everyone has a different reality of what safe or reliable even means.
We also have budgets to stick with.
Not many of us have endless funds, especially when raising a family.
Not only do you have to think about safety features, but the different costs of your vehicle. Such as having the best cheap car insurance you can get.
Or how much the tires and oil changes are going to cost you?
Should you lease or own?
We don’t always have all of the answers, but we can make lists of pros and cons for each car.
How will a certain car effect your lifestyle and families needs?
What You Will Need Before Purchasing That Family Dream-Mobile
A few key components that every driver and parent need to have is insurance. Quality car insurance that can cover you and the ones you love.
If you have babies and only your and your spouse are driving, there will be a different price tag on your car insurance than if you have a teen also driving the vehicle.
Also, each state has their own laws on insurance and the minimum amount of car insurance you will need to attain.
For instance, in the state of California, your minimum car insurance is:
- Bodily Injury Liability Limits: $30,000 per occurrence and $15,000 per person.
- Property Damage Liability Limits: $5,000 per occurrence.
Now this might not seem like a lot of insurance to you. That’s because it’s not. You will need much more to be fully covered.
Fully covered means having full coverage on your car insurance policy.
This consists of not only liability and property damage coverage but also collision and comprehensive coverage.
Here is a breakdown of what cheap car insurance coverage you should have to cover your family vehicle:
- Collision coverage and comprehensive coverage will take car of you and your own car if you are in an accident. Collision should cover any damages to your vehicle. It can even reimburse you if your car is totaled. Comprehensive coverage will cover you for theft and other types of damages not incurred in an accident.
- You will also want to have towing and roadside assistance. If you have a family, screaming kids, and a car full of groceries, the last thing you want to be doing is changing a tire!
- Uninsured Motorist protection will cover you if the other driver does not have adequate insurance. This is a must have!
Besides the above, you can also purchase extra medical coverage for a car accident. To be safe and prepared, it is probably best to be over insured than under insured.
This may seem like a question with a million different answers. However, I have done some research and come up with a list of Pro’s and Con’s for some of the top rated family cars of 2017.
- This car is not only nice to look at, but big enough to fit kids, a dog, your groceries.
- It has a roof rack for storage if you happen to go camping. It can come with a tow package in case you want to pull a boat or pop-up camper.
- Edmunds rates this vehicle a 4.3 out of 5. Not bad.
- You can get 27 miles per gallon on the freeway. This is very good considering the weight of the vehicle.
- This Toyota can seat up to 8 people.
- And it can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
- Now, it does come with a hefty price tag. You will spend around $30,000 on a new Highlander. And that is just the basic version. If you want the XLE you will spend about $38,000.
- This car also has a 5 star safety rating, so there isn’t anything bad to say about that.
- It has been said that this car has poor handling and performance.
- It may also not be as big as it seems. The third row of seating is a little cramped with low head space. After all this is a mid-sized SUV. Not to be confused with a larger Suburban type car.
- This car is probably not one that comes to mind when you think of a family vehicle. But the German car has been a steady drive for a long time now.
- I like that this SUV is stylish yet roomy.
- It gets up to 25 Miles per gallon on the freeway.
- It seats 7 comfortably and has an All-Wheel-Drive engine.
- There is a lot of space on the inside and this helps a lot when transporting little ones.
- It is comfortable to drive and has very few blind spots unlike the Highlander.
- Some complaints about this particular SUV is that it has a boring interior and can be quite gutless.
- With it’s V6 engine, you won’t get a lot of power.
- The safety rating is “good” and has multiple airbags for extra protection.
- The price tag on this family vehicle is around $30,000, which is the same as the Highlander.
- Not only does the Honda Odyssey have superb handling, it is easy to park and drive. We all know when going shopping with the kids, parking can be a hassle.
- The quality of this van is like no other. It has a nice interior that is well-made.
- This car gets 27 miles per gallon on the freeway.
- It sits up to 8 people and has seats that fold down for more cargo space.
- This car got an 8.5 out of 10 on U.S New and Reviews.
- It is also the winner for best minivan for families.
- Now you will pay a little but more for this van than some others. It starts at $30,000. and can go up to around $45,000.
- A couple negative things about this van is the fact that the back seats have to be taken out if you want to store things in the back. This isn’t a super easy task. So if you are a mom on the go, you may need help with this.
- Another feature that seems to be less than average is the horsepower and towing abilities. You basically are using this vehicle for one thing: transporting people.
- Now here is a car that is unlike any other car out there on the road. It’s not your typical sedan and for families, that is a good thing.
- It has a very reasonable price tag for all of the amenities that come with it. For $24,000 you can have a roomy vehicle that gets good gas mileage.
- Getting up to 32 miles per gallon on the freeway, this little car is a gas saver.
- You not only have a very roomy interior and back seat, but tons of storage in the back section. More like a “hutch” type vehicle than one with a trunk, all of your snacks and goodies are easily accessible in this back storage area.
- Although this car only seats five, you save the room with having an open feeling of space. You can easily fit two car seats and a dog in the back if willing.
- This vehicle is also very good at handling bad weather. Drive in snow storms or rain storms, it handles well with its AWD.
- The base engine is not as high preforming as lets say a Honda Accord. This is one downside to this vehicle.
- The Subaru Outback also has a five-star safety rating, and is one of the safest vehicles on the road.
- They also have a reputation of lasting for miles and miles. Built with quality at a price you can afford.
- Some people do not like the look of a wagon. It isn’t as refines as a sedan, and not as big as an SUV. It comes down to your own personal choice.
We all know that it isn’t easy to have it all. To raise a family and work a full time job. To go to school and sustain a relationship. Or even to save money and buy a car.
One of the best pieces of advice is: to do your research.
When shopping for a family car, here are the steps you should take:
- Create a budget and know what you can afford.
- Understand the outlying costs such as insurance, oil changes and maintenance. Some cars are more expensive to insure than others. Keep this in mind: the larger the engine, usually the more the insurance.
- How large of a vehicle will you need for your growing family? Maybe a growing family means you will be getting a puppy. So account for what it is you will need.
- How much driving will you do with this car? If you are dropping the kids off at school and then commuting to work and back, you may want to consider a more eco-friendly and gas-saving vehicle.
- Make a list of what you absolutely can’t live without. Some people need extra large cup holders, others want leather seats. Know what you want and what you are willing to be flexible on.
Money, Money, Money…
Everyone has a budget. Everyone has a limit to how much they want to spend. Are you looking for a new top-of-the-line sedan? Or maybe a used van will do just fine.
Here are what some cars will cost you:
- A 2009 Honda Odyssey in good shape will run around $10,00 to $12,000. Full coverage insurance on average for a vehicle like this will cost around $800 a year.
- A 2017 Toyota Camry will run about $23,000. The insurance on a vehicle like this will be around $1,100 a year.
- A 2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i in fair market condition will run around $22,000. Insurance for one these vehicles should be around $1200.
- A 2005 Chevrolet Suburban will cost around $8000. This is a large family vehicle and may cost around $120 a month to insure.
A few other things to consider when looking for a family car is the maintenance expenses.
There are many ways that you can repair a car yourself. Oil changes are not that difficult either.
If you are really looking for ways to save, try taking a shot at becoming handy under your hood.
- An oil change costs about the same whether you do it or a shop does it. Really you are paying for the same things such as a filter and oil. You may want to know what is under your cars hood and check out the anatomy just in case.
- Changing a tire is also a handy thing to know how to do. If you are a busy mom of three, you may want to skip the tire change and look into a great roadside assistance insurance. You could be covered for towing, 24-hour emergency assistance and tire changes!
- Stay on top of maintenance and keep your engine clean. Depending on whether you buy or lease a vehicle, it can be hard to stay on top of the needed maintenance. Doing this could save you a ton of money in the end.
Buying your family a car is a great feeling. You may have to take out a loan for it, but it is still yours. You can drive it as far and as much as you want. And you are capable of selling it at anytime.
However, cars only depreciate in value. You will most likely never make money on a car that you take out a loan for.
On the other hand, saving and paying in cash can have a lot of value. It also gives you negotiating room with the seller.
You may not have thought much about leasing. If you have a tendency to trash your cars, leasing may not be right for you. However, more and more people are finding it beneficial.
When you lease, you can only drive a certain number of miles each year.
However, you are walking away from a lot with a brand new car which you can then trade up in another three years for another completely brand new one.
Most dealerships make you do a certain number of oil changes and maintenance requirements when you lease.
This can add up, however it also guarantees that your car is running in the best shape ever.
If you are planning on having a family and want the freedom to do as you please with your car, a purchase may be the better option.
However, if you are yearning for that touch screen and new safety features, you could lease a brand new and very safe vehicle for not that much money.
All of these options come into play when wanting to make the best decision for your family.
From insurance policies, to maintaining your car, there are many options and many ways to save money.
The smartest thing to do is to make sure you really love the car you drive.
We as Americans spend a lot of time behind the wheel. You might as well enjoy it.