Thinking about a new family car (and how we might afford it)

Thinking about a new family car (and how we might afford it)

One of the things that has been at the forefront of my mind since we confirmed our third pregnancy is the practicalities of a car. I know a car isn’t an essential, but, let’s be practical! Three under four is going to be hard work and having a car is a luxury I’m not sure I want to do without.

We currently have both the children in extended rear facing seats (we use the Maxi Cosi two -way pearl) and I’d expect both Mr D and Miss E to remain in those seats for a good time yet. The next step, I had thought, would be into a high-backed booster, however the minimum weight limit for these seats make that an unlikely move before our third baby arrives. This creates a headache of requiring three rear facing seats. I’m not prepared to move Mr D into a front facing seat at the moment.

Since learning about our third pregnancy we have been looking at cars and for those that might accommodate three rear facing seats. I can’t see how our current car (a Meriva) would take three, unless we put a belted baby seat on the front passenger seat but then where would Damian or I go if all five of us were traveling – between the two 2-way pearl seats isn’t really practical as an everyday solution.

Damian has been having a look at cars that have three seats of isofix points and I have been looking at narrower seats; and have come across a couple that we need to take a look at in more depth. The ones I have been looking at are belted and tethered seats (rather than Isofix) and one or two of them will last up to 25kg (around age 6 I think) so that might be an option to change Mr D into and leave Miss E in the two way pearl and the new baby will go into the maxi cosi cabriofix that we have. By the time the baby is heavy and big enough for the next seat up I would expect Mr D to be heavy enough to go into a high-backed booster at that time.

One of the things that is fast becoming clear though, is that whatever car we decide to buy we are going to have to spend a little more than we would usually. In the past we have always managed to spend within our budget but I think this time around we might have to stretch things a little more to get the car that will work for us and last us up to five years or so. We haven’t decided how we will pay for the car yet, but we thought that it would be prudent to get our finances in order and to double-check our credit ratings, in case we needed to go down a finance option this time around.

I’ll confess that I left all that up to Damian – he assures me it is all really easy to do and is simply a case of registering with the three main credit reference agencies (callcredit, experian and equifax). They then provide you with your credit rating reports. There’s a lot of information on these, everything from credit cards, mortgages, mobile phone contracts, things bought on finance etc and it’s a good opportunity to correct anything that is wrong. Ours were all fine (hurrah!) and we’re confident our credit rating is all as it should be. Stoneacre have produced a fab infographic that details how to make sure your credit score is in line which should help you to access the best finance deals.


The Road to Good Credit Infographic

In the meantime I think I’ll do a little more research on car seats and cars before we start the search for the right car for us – I’m hoping we can have the car sorted by April time….. wish us luck! If anyone has experience of three rear facing seats let me know!

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