When we found out I was pregnant with my third child one of our first concerns was how we’d fit an extra child in our car, the answer was we couldn’t. We spent months researching with little success. There are very few cars that fit three car seats across the back and because Zak was only three and a half when Hannah was born I didn’t want to compromise his safety jamming him in the middle of his sisters in a booster seat or in the front of the car. My main criteria in our new car search was that each child could still have a full size car seat. Eventually we decided on the Ford S Max, which not only has three full size seats in the back, but an extra two pop up seats in the boot, which are super handy when we have guests. It also has a very large boot space, which easily fits three kids bikes or our huge amounts of holiday luggage. It has been one of the best and most used purchases we’ve ever made. Five years later we still have it, which is the longest we’ve ever owned a car for. When we first bought it, I was so worried about driving a big car, but it’s been fantastic, I absolutely love it, although I’m also very grateful for the parking sensors.
We were very lucky when we bought the S Max that we sold two cars and had enough money to buy the new one without taking out finance, but now our position is a little different. We would love to upgrade to the new model S Max, ours still runs brilliantly, but its been very well used and I suspect getting to the point where it might start to cost us money soon and my husband is hankering after some new gadgets after the car we hired in America had an automatic boot. I personally would really like sliding doors, but I love the S Max so much I can live with it not having those. We’ve been putting off buying a new one waiting for the new model to come out, but now it’s here and looks awesome, there’s nothing to stop us, apart from the money…
As we haven’t used car finance for many years I am a bit unsure about the best way to proceed, especially as personal contract purchase seems more common and I don’t want to waste money choosing the wrong option. It’s hard to know whether to take a personal loan to cover the difference between what our current car will sell for and what we’ll have to pay for a new one or a more specific car finance loan. The car finance guide from TSB, is very helpful, especially the loan calculator part, which shows you how much interest you’ll pay as well as monthly repayments, it’s easy to change the time period of the loan too, so you can compare lots of different options easily and quickly. I was actually quite surprised when I used the calculator, the interest really wasn’t as much as I was expecting, but I’m still not sure of the best way to proceed.
What do you think and what’s your ideal family car?
In collaboration with TSB
This is a big concern for us at the moment whether or we need to change our car before Piglet makes an appearance or whether we can hold off until next year or the year after. I always thought that it would be a personal loan to help with the cost but will take a look at the car finance guide you mentioned.
Oh yes, I have been there! We agonised over a new car last year. We had a Zafira for 8 years which was good when the children were smaller but as they grew, we didn’t have enough space. We ended up with a C4 Picasso which is amazing and I am so glad we chose it. Finance is a minefield though so it is good to find something that can help with the decision.
Luckily we don’t need a huge car as we just have the one child, but its so hard finding something that ticks all your boxes!
Ah – the endless question of the family car! We only have 2 children but I’m all about the safety aspect, always! My sister has 3 and I’d never have believed the fiasco of finding a car to fit all 3 child seats if I hadn’t seen it first hand! I get so attached to cars, I’ve had our current Jeep from new and I’m about to hit 100k miles! x
I get this, although we didn’t need three car seats we did need to seat three in the back and the issues it causes drives me crazy!
This is such a tough decision, isn’t it, but as it’s such a big spend it’s just natural that you want your family car to be perfect. Back when we got our first car, it was a super cheap Ford Focus, but it served us well as a family and was an absolute bargain x