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Thinking of Upgrading the Family Car? Here’s What You Need to Consider!


Thinking of Upgrading the Family Car? Here’s What You Need to Consider!

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The decision to start a family, or add to your existing family may mean that you’ll need to reconsider the car that you drive. With so many different makes and models available, choosing the right family car for your needs can be a little overwhelming!

Besides buying your own home, purchasing a car is likely to be the second most expensive purchase you’ll make. So, it is important that you do your homework to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck. Different cars have different features and it pays to do your research before you even think about walking into a dealership.

The amount of choice you have will of course depend on how much you can afford to spend. Avoid overspending, or getting carried away with the car salesman’s upsell, by setting your budget and sticking to it. Check out People’s Choice Credit Union’s online personal loan  calculator to see how much you can comfortably afford to spend on a new car. Having a set figure in mind will also allow you to narrow down your search for the right car.

Important Things to Consider When Looking for a New Family Car

Have you seen a car you think you might like to own? Great!

Here are the things we suggest you research about that vehicle and any others you are considering to see how they stack up.


Safety is of course the number one priority when you are ferrying your precious cargo from A to B. ANCAP rate cars on their level of safety in an accident. You can check a particular vehicles ANCAP rating here. ANCAP recommend that you steer clear of anything with less than a 4 star rating. hyperlink

Car Size

Be clear about what kind of car you are looking for: hatchback, station wagon, SUV, people mover or a sedan(We’re guessing your sports car days are over…for the time being anyway!). Whatever style car you choose you’ll need to feel confident and comfortable in the driving seat – so make sure you test drive before you buy.

Boot Space

There’s nothing a mum loves more than a spacious boot, right ladies? Don’t be afraid to take your pram with you to inspect the car. It’s important to know that it will fit and also how much room you have left for other things like your nappy bag or groceries.

Backseat Access

Don’t forget that you are going to be leaning into the backseat to get your child/ren in and out, so it’s paramount that you have easy access to the backseat. We recommend that if it has less than 4 doors you cross it off your list! Ain’t no parent got time for contortionism every time they need to go on a car ride somewhere!

Child Car Seat Anchorage Points

The amount of car seat anchorage points is also an important feature of your new potential car, as it where they are positioned. Most newer cars these days will have 3, whilst larger people mover style vehicles may have 5. The reason why their positioning is important is due to some being located towards the back of the boot (for example in some station wagons). In these instances the straps will stretch across the back of the boot and may interfere with boot space and whether or not your pram will still fit.

Some cars also still have lap-sash style seatbelts in the rear centre position which are not suitable for securing child car seats or use with children. If you have, or plan on having more children it is better to look for a car that is fitted with three-point seat belts only.

Fuel Efficiency

The fuel efficiency of the vehicle you are thinking of buying should be an important factor in deciding whether or not the car is suitable for your needs. There is no point in buying a new car if you can’t afford to run it. All new light vehicles in Australia now have to display a fuel-consumption rating, so do your homework.

Additional Features

Other features you may want to think about are airbags, anti-locking brake system (ABS), electronic stability program (ESP), reverse parking sensors, reverse parking cameras, child locks etc.

Figure out which features are important to you, and which ones you would be happy to do without if need be.  This will help you to narrow down your list of potential new cars.

Happy car hunting!


People’s Choice Credit Union is are giving Mum’s Lounge readers the chance to win a Prepaid VISA card valued at $200. For your chance to win simply complete the entry form below.  Good luck!
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People’s Choice Credit Union is an exciting financial institution focused on people, not profit.  That means, any profits they make are reinvested back into better products and services for members and building stronger communities. Unlike most financial institutions, their customers and owners are the same people – their members and everything they do is designed to benefit their members.

Jolene Marie Humphry

Jolene is Editor at Mum Media Group, where she enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

47 thoughts on “Thinking of Upgrading the Family Car? Here’s What You Need to Consider!

  1. AvatarStacey Shailer

    I’d have to take my little family on a holiday! With my husband working long, long hours and all of us busy with school, activities and other stuff, we need a complete break together as a family to unwind and reconnect.

  2. AvatarWendy Hatton

    First on my list at the moment would be a new car as my old faithful is on its last legs. As a grandma I am ready to downsize while retaining enough space for grand child babysitting excursions. On the other hand (if I won a lottery) I’d love to do a few home renovations- something that never seems to get to the top of the list!

  3. Avatarsarah

    Pay off debt. We are desperate to start a family together, but needs come first and we just can’t afford it. Sometimes its like one step forward and two steps back but there’s hope to be held, especially if a baby is the light at the end of the tunnel.

  4. AvatarCara Wheaton

    Our backyard is in desperate need of some help. Definitely not child friendly and with our son with severe autism he doesn’t understand danger. Going out in the backyard is not a relaxing time for this mum.?

  5. AvatarKylie Embury

    A much needed family holiday! Our last was in 2010 – before our youngest was born. He’s 5 and has never had a holiday. A holiday with all 5 of us before my teens get bogged down in college, exams and part-time jobs would be fantastic and just what we all need to unwind, relax and re-connect <3

  6. AvatarTracy Campbell

    If I could afford to I would have a couple of weeks holiday hubby has been ill of late and I would love to get him out of the house and in the sun with the family when he is better

  7. AvatarLynne Lillington

    A new home, so I get house all my family under one roof. It’s more than a financial asset, it’s beneficial for mental well being and keeping a family together.

  8. AvatarEmma Gloede

    I’d love to take my family to Disneyland as it truly be a once in a life time event for us. I love a bigger house with space for a therapy room for my special needs children 🙂

  9. AvatarSophie Miller

    A car – we sold our tiny little car ? then saved for our first home ? instead of paying a car repayment and now we are renovating. All this in two years, no spending and two babies ???? With a 15 month old and a newborn a car is a must! We are now saving for a car and all I want to do is go in a Christmas ? shopping spree. (Haven’t been shopping for two years apart from baby goods) this will all be worth it once we have a safe and economical car to drive!

  10. AvatarLea Anita Black

    If I could afford renovations to my mortgaged home I would get the second bathroom fixed. The tiles in the shower are coming off the walls and that showers unusable. With three teens in the house it would be good to beable to use it.

  11. AvatarAmanda pope

    Definitely paying off debt, focusing on my children not my purse strings. With the stress associated with it out of the way I really think tensions would ease and good memories could be made more easily if I wasn’t constantly counting dollars and cents in my head all the time.

  12. AvatarKaren Thompson

    It would be a bigger home. We are currently in a 3×1 all small rooms and with a 13 year old boy and 11 year old girl it would be a lot more comfortable. Especially when she has slumber parties!

  13. AvatarLisa S

    While my children are young, I intend to invest my cash in “memory making” through travel!
    Spending quality time together, exploring and developing cultural awareness in my children ranks VERY highly on my “things to do” list.

    If money wasn’t an issue- we’d definitely be travelling the world and upgrading our lives to one with more adventure and less routine!

  14. AvatarMel Kraly

    Either a bigger house or renovate adding a room or three as we are a family of 8! With kids with Autism and rescue cats as well we really could do with more space. And a much bigger kitchen and a cooker that will be big enough for our family’s needs

  15. AvatarIsabeau

    I would love to improve our lives by updating our kitchen and bathrooms they’re a nightmare to clean properly because they’re so old and delapadating quickly

  16. AvatarTanya Berglund

    We need an extra toilet/bathroom with Tweens getting older by the second. I’d renovate our house a little. I’ve just updated my car and that was an excellent decision

  17. AvatarKayla

    What a great article! Am definitely saving this one for future reference, thanks Go Ask Mum!!

    If we were to improve our family life it would 100% be to be able to buy a home, my partner and I have been together for 5 years, we now have a 3 year old boy and a 5 and a half month old girl.
    Him and I have lived in 4 different houses in that time. This last one being the longest, yet the most uncomfortable. Our baby is still in the room with us because there’s not enough rooms in the house, and is still squeezing into her bassinet (thankfully it was a large one) because we can’t fit her cot in, slugs and creepy crawlies are always entering the house through the gaps in the floors, there is literally no storage other than in the kitchen and one small cupboard in the bathroom, ohhh I could go on but I won’t bore you!
    We have to move from here on December 18th and I cannot wait to get out!!! But we both are so longing to buy a home. With how difficult it is to save in this day and age, we are worried it will never happen!

  18. AvatarKaralyn Sladka

    We really need a new car. My daughter aged 6 washed our with a hard bristle brush the other day, a possum jumped on the windscreen and cracked it and its on its last legs.

  19. AvatarVeta

    I would buy my children a cubby house for outside so they can have fun and play. I would also put in a shower downstairs for my large breed dog so I can wash her easily, without having to put her in the car anymore.

  20. Avatarchristine morris

    I would love to go on a Holiday, however having a big family i can’t seem to save, i haven’t been on a Holiday for 15 years or so, winning the Visa Card would really help 🙂

  21. AvatarNatalie M

    Debt, car almost always runs, no storage, can only afford camping holidays… but if I had a bit of money the one thing I want most is to move somewhere so my kids have a better school. Living rural is amazing and I love it here but I’d give it up in a heart beat for a better school for my kids.

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