Are you in the market for a new car? Well, if you have a family, this means that there are specific things that you need to consider; ones that may not necessarily be as much of a priority for a single person or someone who doesn’t have children. Sure, all cars need to be reliable safe, but a family vehicle requires a few more details than that. The good news is that if you’re reading this article, you’ll be able to see what some of those particulars entail.
Here are five things that you definitely should consider when purchasing a family car:

Consider the size of your family. If you are expecting a child or you have one or two toddlers, a midsize sedan will probably fit everyone comfortably. However, as your children grow or you have more of them, you’re definitely going to need something larger like a minivan or an SUV. The bottom line here is that whatever the size of your family, make sure to purchase a vehicle that will accommodate everyone easily, as they mature and grow.

Consider where you live. Without a doubt, family is precious cargo and so you want to make sure that you get everyone from Point A to Point B safely and securely. When it comes to achieving this goal, you have to take the environment where you live into serious consideration. If you live somewhere that isn’t constantly rainy and has light (accumulation of) snow, a two-wheel drive will probably suit you just fine. On the other hand, if you’re somewhere where several feet of snow on the ground, during the winter months is the norm, a front-wheel or all-wheel drive is definitely something that you should look into.

Consider the fuel economy. Here’s the reality: The larger that a vehicle is, the lower that the fuel economy tends to be. So, while smaller sedans tend to get the best fuel economy, SUVs (by far), tend to get the worst. For this reason alone, you may want to consider purchasing a hybrid. It comes with a bigger price tag, but as it relates to what it will save you in gas, it’s definitely a worthwhile investment.

Consider what you can afford. If you’ve been looking at used trucks for sale thinking that you can get a good deal with it than on a newer vehicle, then you might want to check out some of the automobiles that are marketed as being affordable “family vehicles”. Models on the list include the Nissan Cube, Scion xB, Dodge Caliber, Kia Rondo and the Hyundai Elantra Touring—all of which are (currently) under $20,000.

Consider the amenities. With children in the car, you definitely make sure their needs are met (especially when it comes to road trips). So, make sure that the vehicle that you want to buy has air conditioning, cruise control, a CD player (and changer), plus a rearview DVD and entertainment system definitely couldn’t hurt. That last thing is not a “deal breaker”, but when it comes to trips to summer camp and grandma’s house, it will definitely make things much easier on you and more enjoyable for your kids in the long run…well, drive.