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How To Choose The Right Car For You & Your Family

Over a third of all pregnant women change cars during pregnancy. We have some tips for choosing the right one, writes Geraldine Herbert.

1. Journeys

Consider how you would use the car, long commutes, journeys around town, city centre driving. If you commute, you'll need something economical but if you regularly take long trips you'll need a car with a larger engine.

2. Diesel versus Petrol

Diesel are still the more economical option in terms of mpg figures but they are more expensive to run and more expensive to buy. It is for this reason that low-mileage motorists would be best suited to a small petrol engine. Road tax for diesel cars is lower and diesel cars also tend to have a better resale value than petrol. Also consider Hybrids as they are good for a mix of urban and motorway driving and electric cars are ideal for short commutes.

3. Five is better than three

A three door car may seem like an option now but after a few months of wrangling an infant seat into the back from the driver’s door you and your back you will reckon it’s time to reconsider so opt for the more family friendly five door.

4. Space & storage

Having kids gives a whole new meaning to space so you should ensure that there is enough room for a pram, shopping, travel cot and any other objects you might require.

5. Car seats and isofix

Regardless of the type of car seat you choose isofix is the safest option for securing your child’s car seat. Isofix connects the child seat directly and rigidly to the car structure so if can eliminate fitting problems common with the use of adult seat belts and improve performance in a crash so if you can at all opt for a car with isofix.

6. Safety rating and airbags

Check the EuroNCAP safety rating of the car you intend to buy here and pay particular attention to how many airbags are on offer; you definitely want airbags and the more the better!

7. Electronic Stability Program

Electronic Stability Program/Control (ESP) is designed to prevent your vehicle from swerving out of control by reducing the ability to skid; it works through a serious of sensors. Since 2014 it has to be fitted as standard on all new cars but if you are buying a used car choose one with ESP.

8. Running Costs

Consider running costs along with the initial purchase price – It’s important to work out an estimate of fuel consumption along with road tax, insurance and maintenance costs to ensure you’re buying a car you can actually afford to drive. Test drive the car, always do a history/finance check and ask a trusted mechanic to look at the car before handing over any cash.

Did you change your car when you were expecting? Let us know what you went for and why in the comments. 

About the Author

Geraldine Herbert has been a motoring journalist for over fifteen years and is Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent, Irish Country Magazine and editor of wheelsforwomen. A jury member for the Women’s World Car of the Year Geraldine is also a contributor to Good Housekeeping magazine and a regular commentator on consumer and motoring matters on RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio.

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