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Choosing a family car

By Sue Baker 29/01/2015

Before being wooed by an eye-candy car, it's vital to think about whether it will fit well into your life and the kind of journeys you need it for.

Choosing a car is like finding a life partner. You need to know where you are heading together. With both, beauty is only skin deep, and it is what is on the inside that really matters. So before being wooed by an eye-candy car, it’s vital to think about whether it will fit well into your life and the kind of journeys you need it for.

Will it be mostly a commuter car, ferrying kids to school, zipping about locally in urban traffic? Then smaller is probably better, for ease of parking and threading through traffic. Downsizing has been a big recent trend, and smaller models can now have many of the features once confined to big luxury ones - with the bonus of lower running costs. No wonder Ford’s Fiesta is the UK’s best-selling car.

Taller cars with the look of a 4x4 without actually being one have become hugely popular for their family-friendly practicality. The Nissan Qashqai is a good example. Kids love sitting up high, the boot is plenty big enough for a stock-up of groceries, and cars like these can cope well with five people and their luggage for a longer holiday trip.

Bigger families, or gregarious ones with lots of friends, may be happier with something larger. An estate or MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) fits the bill here. Some, like the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, have the option of an extra row of seats and the versatility of easy-fold seating that lets you use the car like a van when the need arises.

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.

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