Guide to choosing your next family car

August 31,2023

Selecting a family car in Alberta is more complex than walking into a dealership and picking the first car you see. The recent economic shifts in the car market have made car-buying a more challenging experience, especially in 2023.

Understanding the New Automobile Market

For those in Alberta, the surge in prices and demand for new cars, combined with the shifting preferences for larger vehicles and the increasing prevalence of electric vehicles, has complicated choosing the perfect family car. However, 2023 has ushered in some welcome changes too, such as the opportunity to conduct a significant portion of the car buying process online—a boon for those who find in-person dealership visits cumbersome.

Navigating the Road Ahead: Tips for Purchasing Your Family Car

Despite the uncertainty in the current car market, purchasing a family car in 2023 is far from an impossible task. By being mindful of your budget, understanding your needs, conducting in-depth research, and keeping future family plans in mind, you can ensure a smooth car-buying experience. Here are some key steps to consider:

Understanding and Planning Your Budget

As a family, it’s crucial to establish a clear budget. This should account not just for the upfront car price but also for associated costs like insurance, maintenance, repairs, and fuel. Tools like the Car Affordability Calculator from Edmunds can be incredibly useful in this process.

Identifying Your Family Car Needs and Wants

The vast range of options available in the market can easily feel overwhelming. Hence, it’s essential to list out the key features you need from your car, such as seating capacity, safety features, storage space, and any comfort add-ons that could make your family’s life easier.

Thoroughly Researching Your Options

After identifying your needs and establishing your budget, delve into research on vehicles that fit your criteria. Websites like the National Highway Traffic Safety Association and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety can provide insights into safety ratings, while resources like RepairPal and Consumer Reports can shed light on future fuel and repair costs.

Factoring in Future Family Needs

Children grow up fast, and their needs change accordingly. Therefore, consider how long you intend to keep your car and how your family’s needs might evolve over that period. For instance, as your children grow older, they may require more trunk space for their sports equipment or larger seating areas.

Considering Extended Warranty

An extended warranty isn’t necessary for everyone, but if you’re considering it, do your research beforehand. This helps you avoid falling for extended warranty scams and enables you to find a plan that suits your needs.

Test Driving with Your Children

Despite comprehensive research, the real feel of a car is determined when you and your children buckle up and go for a test drive. Make sure to drive on streets and highways and spend at least 15 to 20 minutes in the car to understand its comfort, size, and driveability.

Inspecting Used Cars

If you’re considering a used car, arrange for a pre-purchase inspection by a mechanic to ensure the car’s condition and potential repair costs are within your expectations.

Driving Toward a Confident Purchase

Despite the challenges, remember that buying a family car in Alberta can still be a rewarding experience. Head over to Eagle River Chrysler, where our team is ready to help you embark on your journey to the perfect vehicle.

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