New Mum, New Car

car_seatOver a third of all pregnant women change cars during pregnancy. We have some tips for choosing the right car writes Geraldine Herbert

Nobody really prepares you for what lies ahead when you have your first baby.From the endless information and lists of “must-buys” some are necessary – such as a cot, car seat, pram, clothes, and nappies – while others simply offer convenience but a third of us will change our car probably out of sheer necessity.

So what is important about buying a family car? Apart from the usual considerations of driving dynamics, price, fuel efficiency and safety these are just a few things you may not have considered.

 

Five is better than three
A three door car may seem like an option now but trust me after a few months of wrangling that concrete block of an infant seat into the back from the driver’s door you and your back you will reckon its time to reconsider.

 

Space & storage
Having kids puts a whole new meaning to space so you should ensure that there is enough room for a pram, shopping, travel cots and any other objects you might require? And for long journeys comfort should be a  consideration.

 

Car seats and Isofix
Regardless of the type of car seat you choose isofix is the safest option for securing your child’s car seat. Isofix connects the child seat directly and rigidly to the car structure so if can eliminate fitting problems common with the use of adult seat belts and improve performance in a crash so if you can at all opt for a car with isofix.  Remember when it comes to buying a car seat  it depends on the age and weight of your baby and the type of car you drive.

 

Safety rating and airbags
Check the EuroNCAP safety rating of the car you intend to buy here and pay particular attention to how many airbags are on offer, you definitely want airbags and the more the better!

 

Electronic Stability Program
Electronic Stability Program/Control (ESP) is designed to prevent your vehicle from swerving out of control by reducing the ability to skid, it works through a serious of sensors. From this year it has to be fitted as standard on all new cars but if you are buying a used car choose one with ESP

 

And in an ideal world, all cars would have

  • Raised seating height – to save the back from bending too low
  • Fridge/chilled glovebox
  • Reverse parking sensors or ideally a camera


Finally Remember
Consider running costs along with the initial purchase price – It’s important to work out an estimate of fuel consumption along with motor tax, insurance and maintenance costs to ensure you’re buying a car you can actually afford to drive. Test drive the car, always do a history/finance check and ask a trusted mechanic to look at the car before handing over any cash. Keep in mind that if a car is too cheap there’s probably a reason why. Finally remember, a new baby doesn’t mean cars have to be boring.

 

 Geraldine Herbert

7th January 2022

 

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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