When a single parent is in the market for a new car, they have some very strict guidelines they are going to stick too. Their top priorities are going to be the safety of their children.. how reliable the car will be in getting them from place to place for many years to come, and how convenient the car they want is so that it stores all of the things they need.
Single parents do not have a lot of spare time, and more often than not they have a strict budget to stick too, so they need to make sure that they are getting a safe reliable car that will not break the bank and raise their car insurances quote through the roof.
However, it can be hard to find a new car that is safe for you and your kids especially if you have not searched for a car in a while and you don’t know where to start. Below are a few things to think through and research when looking for the right car which will help you decide what kind of car to buy and whether to buy that car new, used, or leased.
Table of Contents
1.) Do not exceed your budget
This is actually one of the most important steps in buying a car. You need to figure out how much you can afford to pay before even looking at cars and be ready to compromise in case you cannot afford everything on your wish list.
When you are working on setting your budget, you need to think about how much you can actually afford to pay every month and include insurance payments in that calculation. If you are unsure of how to calculate this, take your monthly income and take out 15% or less of the check and go from there. That amount is typically what a car payment will cost you and factors in car insurance quote as well.
2.) Think about your non-negotiable needs
Single parents are going to have needs that are very specific to them. In a lot of cases, things you think you need like a car that makes a statement, one that has a loud engine, etc. when in reality these things can take a backseat to your actual needs. A single parent is going to need a car that is functional and practical, and below are a few of the most important things to consider:
- How many kids do you have riding with you every day
- Do you have a long commute? If so, what is the most fuel-efficient car you can afford
- What are your must-have safety features? things such as back up cameras, blind-spot alerts, automatic emergency braking
- How much space do you need for all you and your kid’s stuff
- Is it able to fit car seats
3.) Looking for cars for sale
Thanks to technology and all of the websites that the internet has to offer, you no longer have to go to one thousand car dealerships or more just to find a car that you can afford and that checks off as many boxes of what you need as possible.
Nowadays, you can go online and compare different cars from several different dealerships, narrow it down by the model car you want, the price point you are looking for, and needs that you have. Once you put in all of your criteria, a website can pull cars from hundreds of places and put them in one place for you so you can save time and money and find the best car for you and your kids to drive in for a long time to come.
4.) Think about whether you want to buy new or used
As a single parent, you want to get the car that is going to be the safest option for you and your kids without breaking the bank. If you can afford payments on a new car to get everything you want, that is a great option!
However, you can often times get exactly what you need for a price that is more friendly to your budget by looking at used cars. They are usually just as good as new cars, will last just as long if you take care of it, are cheaper, and are still just as safe as new cars are so you can drive with peace of mind!
If you end up buying a used car, there are always ways to make it feel like a brand-new vehicle. You can wash the exterior, fix dents and scratches, and replace the windshield wipers. For the inside, you can do a deep clean. This involves washing every interior surface by wiping it down, shampooing it, and vacuuming it.
You should also condition them to bring out the shine on seating surfaces and other upholstered elements. Be sure to use conditioner for the specific type of upholstery like leather or vinyl. To preserve the quality of these surfaces, it’s also a good idea to add quality seat covers, so they don’t accumulate dust and debris.
If you think you have found a car that is the right fit for you and your kids and fits your budget in both payments and insurance costs, the last step will be to take a test drive in the car. Take it out for a spin and make sure you like driving it. If you still love it and it is a highly-rated, reliable car, then you may have found the right car for you and your kids!
Alex is fascinated with “understanding” people. It’s actually what drives everything he does. He believes in a thoughtful exploration of how you shape your thoughts, experience of the world.