So you like your cars but want to start a family? Having a baby will certainly change your priorities and also cost you financially, but have you thought about the changes which you may have to make?
Once you get that positive test and doctors confirm that you are indeed pregnant and the excitement (or panic) has settled, a list is normally complied for what you need to buy. Bottles, nappies, clothing, bedroom furniture and all the usual necessities required for your new bundle of joy.
One thing not on that list is your car seats and pram – you may think buying these items is easy, but think again! It’s a midfield with more and more new companies coming onto the market with new designs and adding features on – stuff that will surely have your head spinning.
You are likely saying now, what has this got to do with car reviews?
Well, until you are in this situation, you will not understand the struggle of finding out if the pram that you have specifically chosen for your new family member fits into your current vehicle. You may think that your boot is big enough – but I strongly advise you to check and double check if it will fit.
What if it doesn’t? The next question that comes is one of will you need to change your car or pram? Speaking to first time parents, the car is usually the first upgrade before arrival.
If you’re an avid car enthusiast, then you don’t really want style and performance to be compromised, especially when this new family member brings with it, a large amount of new belongings. Add the double joy of twin births (which are seemingly more and more common these days) and having to opt for a larger pram and two car seats.
A gripe I have found recently when looking into the issue of boot sizes and prams is that manufacturers do not give you decent dimensions, rather, just a capacity volume in litres, which means nothing to most of us.
Manufacturers if you’re reading this please add internal sizes for the sanity of parents-to-be and put an end to wasted journeys to dealers and or pram shops!
Ideally, before you go and view a new car, have the measurements of your chosen pram and a trusty tape measure in-hand with you – alternatively if your test drive and takes you past your pram shop, ask to borrow a showroom demo for a few minutes to make sure it truly fits.
New family cars don’t have to be boring!
Looking at the vehicles which I have been sent recently for review, I have noted a lot of them are now going for the style of an SUV, allowing the car to be slightly higher up than what we are used to and with a flat loading boot in most cases, a pram will easily slide in.
Having recently changed the wife’s car from a Peugeot 208 Allure (which she loved driving) we have since upgraded to a Hyundai Tucson SE Nav thanks to Daly’s Garage in Belfast, after many visits to various showrooms.
This car ticked all the boxes and still has good looks, got all the interior comforts, features a super-reliable 1.7 CRDi engine and large boot to allow for all our belongings that we need for a day out, along with a decent family shop.
Car seats are another worry, you want your baby to be safe, but what type of seat will you need and which is best when it comes to value for money alongside safety. Babies grow quickly, from an average of 1-inch to 1.5-inch per month, so a wrong purchase can be an expensive one.
Take a look at our report which we compiled before which includes the laws on car seats: http://blog.usedcarsni.com/child-safety-explained/
Also consider ISOFIX base units, the time they save when getting a child seat in or out of a car is invaluable, especially during a heavy downpour, of which we are accustomed to, and aside from the convenience, they are much safer than a traditional seat belt wrapped around the seat.
Finally – good luck in your family car search and whether it be a new family, or an existing one, keep safe on the roads and enjoy plenty of family road trips.
Words & Photos: GRAHAM BAALHAM-CURRY
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