This is a collaborative post
One of the most important things you are likely to need as a family is a family car
When I was first with Monsieur Incidental I had a Hyundai Coupe. It was a little sporty number with a big engine and a small boot. It was totally unsuitable as a family car which we soon realised when we got the baby car seat fitted to bring Big L home from hospital…
We traded my beloved Hyundai Coupe in shortly afterwards for a far more sensible 5 door Ford Focus C-Max.
The C-Max saw us through many years until an unfortunate incident in 2018 involving a large Volvo. The Volvo came off pretty much unscathed and we returned home in a taxi and never saw the C-Max again. It was made worse when Little L waved and said “Bye bye car” as we drove off and left the C-Max with the recovery man.
However, the loss of the C-Max did give us the chance to upgrade to a 7 seater. We are a 5 person family if you include my mum and, with 2 car seats in the back, it can be uncomfortable for a grown up between them. So we got a car that accommodates two car seats and a fully grown adult across 3 full sized seats. It also has electric sliding doors. My goodness I love that car, apart from the fact it is a bit of a gas guzzler.
While I was browsing cars I looked at all my options:
Leasing a car
It would be nice to have a brand new car. Now I am not in a position to own one outright however leasing is an option, somewhere like Blue Chilli Car Leasing. Leasing a car is good if you can budget for the monthly repayments, you have the option to include maintenance in the repayments too, so you don’t have any nasty surprises when it comes to servicing. Then when your lease is up you can opt to lease another new car.
Buying a secondhand car privately
I looked at local ads and also on Auto Trader. Now, it is usually cheaper to but a car privately BUT you don’t have the same consumer rights that you do if you buy from a dealership and, as such, no recourse should anything go wrong.
Buying a car from a garage or dealer
Once I had decided what sort of car I wanted, and made up my mind that I wanted to buy from a dealership I used Auto Trader, Parkers and checked local dealerships.
Auto Trader is really good as you are able to narrow down your searches by type of car, number of doors, mileage, year, tax, distance from your location and so on.
I found this a really good way to compare prices and so on. I went to look at a few cars and I can tell you there are some cowboys out there. One we went to told us the car was ready to drive away – a wing mirror was hanging off, the car was full of dog hair and mud and was generally filthy!
If you aren’t very knowledgeable about cars it might help to take someone along who is. They can have a little look around it. You are often also given the option of increasing the warranty for a price. Ours came with 3 months as standard, after I took it home my usual mechanic took a look at it for me and found a few issues that the garage I bought it from rectified with no issues.
I hope my experience has helped with your options, is there anything you would add?
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