How to Choose the Right Vehicle for You and Your Family

Posted by on January 06, 2020 @15:44:35 EST


We’re all familiar with the incredible versatility offered by cars, as well as the myriad uses they can play for us in our day-to-day life. But what can often be lacking in the discussion of various models, makes, and situations, is the fact that some of us aren’t simply buying a car for ourselves. For people with families, there are a ton of other factors you’ll need to take into account when buying yourself a car that single professionals won’t need to worry about. 

These can go well beyond the bare bones of the deal information (like interest rates), as well as the most basic way the car functions (mileage, etc). The question of how to choose a car for your family is a complicated one, and when you turn to the Internet for help, more often than not you’ll find yourself drowning in a sea of search results, with each one claiming to be more informative than the last.

It can be a lot to take in. After all, how are you able to tell who knows what they’re talking about when it comes to how to choose a car? Everybody seems to make the same claim about being completely reliable, but few indeed are specific enough to really back those statements up. How to choose a car for your family is such an involved topic that something a little more in-depth is in order, even just as a way to make sure that you don’t miss out on a few vital pieces of information that have gotten lost in the deluge. 

The Importance Of Knowing Your Stuff

Even though the vast majority of dealerships out there are honest institutions, run and staffed by honest, hard-working people, there’s no denying they do their best work when the customer is significantly less informed than they are. If somebody walks in and doesn’t know how to choose a car, odds are that they might just find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of optional extras available. This has happened over and over again since time immemorial. While it’s not exactly the end of the world (in any case, you will end up with a car that can at least drive on the road), it’s still not ideal; and when you’ve got your family’s needs to consider, it’s important to make as well-informed of a decision as you possibly can.

But where should you start? Are there simple guidelines to follow, or is everything completely situation-specific? What should your top priorities be with regards to how to choose a car? These are important questions that deserve answering, for your peace of mind as well as for your family’s well being.

That’s why we’ve decided to put together a beginner’s guide on how to choose a car when you’re somebody who has a family to take into consideration. While it’s important to bear in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive (no one piece will be able to mention every single factor that comes into play), it’s more than good enough to serve as a comprehensive starting point for carrying out your own research. 

Making a big purchase like a vehicle is a hard enough financial decision on its own without all the extra bits of information floating around. By keeping focused on the basics of how to choose a car, we’ll be able to set you up with a few boxes that you’ll need the dealer to tick before you purchase their product. Not only will this offer you a significant advantage when it comes to actually talking numbers in the showroom, it’s also a great way to ensure that none of your family’s needs fall by the wayside because you were too focused on other aspects of the deal.

1: Space 

Too often, budding automobile owners get bogged down in the myriad options and metrics available for tracking vehicle performance when they’re wondering how to choose a car. It’s easy to understand how — with so many statistics out there that are pervading every aspect of our lives, who on earth wouldn’t get lost in MPG, MPH, and BHP (to mention only the most popular three)? If you develop tunnel vision when it comes to numbers as you’re trying to buy a car that your family will be able to make the best use of, you’re potentially robbing yourself of the perfect vehicle for your situation, all because you weren’t able to pay attention to what matters most.

For anybody with kids, space is an obvious priority that needs to be met. But the exact way cars handle space varies from model to model, and it’s rarely enough to just look at the number on the brochure and work off of that. Far more important than the total amount of space available is the flexibility of that space. There’s no use having a colossal trunk if it comes at the cost of reduced legroom. Similarly, rigidly-set seating arrangements aren’t very versatile at all — and while it might not seem to bad, when it comes to tedium setting in on a long drive, you might well wish you’d opted for a more flexible option.

Flexibility is the key concept to keep in mind when you’re considering space as you work out how to choose a car. Think of all the things you might need to use the space for — friends of the children, sports equipment, pets and all of their accessories, beach gear; the list goes on. Cars with hyper-flexible seating and legroom arrangements provide an entire world of possibility that their more strict counterparts are regrettably lacking. Rather than a bench across the middle of your standard seven-seater layout, consider going for two captain’s chairs and relegating the bench to the back of the vehicle. This gives you a little more room to manoeuvre with regards to what you can put at the feet of your children — if you don’t go for a car with flexible usage of space now, you might well regret it later on.

2: Safety

Safety features have come on hugely in the last number of years. With technology exploding all over the world (in the automobile industry as everywhere else), we’re presented with more choice than ever when it comes to how safe we can make our vehicles. While this sounds great on the surface (and in a sense, it is great, because cars are the safest they’ve ever been), it’s also possible to get lost in the sheer amount of choice, leading to the potential for you to forget exactly which safety features are the most important when you consider how to choose a car for your family.

In truth, most new models are going to have enough safety features for you to feel confident about driving your family around. There simply aren’t going to be major safety boxes that the majority of family-car manufacturers won’t tick. Even so, however, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with. Even if it’s just as a way to ensure you don’t blow your entire bank account on optional extras, it’s best to understand exactly what’s going on.

The most important safety feature you need is the ability to turn off passenger airbags. Airbags, as we all know, provide first-line defence in the unfortunate case of a crach. With adults in the car, there’s no problem whatsoever with airbags, as their grown-up physiques will be able to handle the stress, and 99 times out of 100 the airbag will simply keep them protected. That changes when you bring children into the equation, however.

Kids can actually be hurt by airbags deploying. It’s unfortunate, but the injuries suffered from an airbag to a child can often be worse than the actual crash itself could be, especially if it was a very minor incident. By having the ability to turn off your airbags, you can guarantee that your children won’t be hurt in any situation. 

Locks are another key safety feature you should consider when you’re wondering how to choose a car for your family. The back windows must be able to be locked and unlocked remotely. This can keep your children in, as well as working to keep other people out; and in the worst case scenario of somebody being stuck in the backseat, the ability to remotely roll down the window and help them out might just save everybody a huge headache. Child locks on the back doors are the other aspect of keeping locks in mind when you’re choosing a vehicle for your family. There’s no reason for your children to be able to operate the door completely on their own, especially if they’re very young. That simply isn’t a situation that’s likely to pop up, and even if it does, it’s likely to be overshadowed by the potential risk of not having child locks. All of these factors make locks one of the most important considerations to take into account when it comes to safety.

3: Doors

Finally, make sure the car you’re purchasing for your family has at least five doors. A three-door car, while looking very stylish and being versatile enough to fit into some tight parking space, is going to wreak havoc on your back in the long-term as you constantly have to bend and move the seats back in order to let people in and out. 

This is complicated still more if especially young children are involved, since strapping into and out of a car is enough of an inconvenience on its own without sliding seats to reckon with. But you can’t stop at the pure number of the doors on the car; you need to consider how big they are as well.

Some cars, for example, provide extra-wide back doors designed to suit families. It can seem like a minor concern in the dealership, but when you take the car back home and put it into operation for your family, you might well be glad you went that extra mile when you were wondering how to choose a car. Making things as easy as possible for yourself and your family is well worth any additional expense, so don’t be afraid to pay a little extra for features you’ll use every single day.


There you have it: the three main things to wonder about as you’re figuring out how to choose a car that’ll work for your family. By keeping these points in mind, you should have no trouble narrowing down your options to a model that’ll keep your family happy, healthy, and safe. 

As a final note, if you’re having a hard time getting secured for a carload because of your credit score, why not give us here at a call? We consider every application for a loan we receive, irrespective of credit score — we just might be able to help you out.

Let's Get Started

Join thousands of Canadians who have trusted

Get Approved Now