If you’re like most families and always on the go, odds are that your family car is like a second home. You spend hours in it each year traveling to and from work, school and numerous activities. Miles can quickly add up and often the interior looks just as worn as the mechanics on the vehicle. If you find yourself with an older family car that’s seen better days and is ready to be upgraded, here’s a few things to keep in mind as you conduct your search for your new family vehicle.


Review Safety Ratings & Features

As the family car will be carrying the people you cherish most in life, it’s important that you consider the safety ratings and features when buying your next family car. All car models undergo rigorous safety testing and analysis, which you are public information for you to review. You can identify how each vehicle responds in different types of accidents and which may be the safest for your family. In addition, you also want to consider what safety features are important to you in a vehicle. With the variety of technology in cars today, a number of safety features exist to help prevent you from getting in an accident such as blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning with automatic braking, driver alertness monitoring and lane keep assist.


Think About the Needs of Your Family

Each family is different, and yours is no exception. A car that meets the needs of one family may not work for your family and vice versa. Before you start shopping for cars, take time to consider exactly what your family needs. Do you have several children or their friends that you will be regularly transporting in the car? Will you travel long distances and need to be concerned about fuel economy? Does your son or daughter play the tuba, so you need a large luggage space in the car? All of these are things you want to consider beforehand as they will help you identify which cars will best suit your needs once you begin shopping.


Consider the Special Features

In addition to safety features, vehicles also come with add-ons to make travel in the vehicle more pleasant as well. Electronic charging capabilities are one of the most important features given the prevalence of cell phones, tablets and other electronic devices. Other features that you may want to check out include built-in movie systems, seat warmers and dual control temperature. There’s even vans now with built-in vacuum systems making it easy for you to clean up if your child creates a mess. You can learn more about what features are available in different vehicles and see ratings for new cars and their features.


Know the Value of Your Current Car

Trading in your current family car when you purchase your new vehicle can save you money as it often lowers the overall cost of your new vehicle. If you are planning to do this, get an understanding of what the current value is of your car. Trade-ins can be a bit of a negotiation between you and the salesperson, so it’s best to know what that used Chrysler Pacifica or Chevy is worth before you accept the initial trade-in offer presented to you.


Getting a new family car can be an exciting time for your household. To ensure you get a great deal that leaves everybody happy, take the time to do your research and review what’s important to you and your family beforehand. Doing so will ensure smiles for many miles yet to come.