#ad – Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.
Baby number 3 was a slight surprise! It was something we had talked about and we always knew if had another baby we would need a bigger car with the potential to house three car seats.
Trust me. This was a bigger challenge than we thought as there are actually not that many cars available that do fit three standard car seats! So many are not wide enough, even though you would think they would fit three.
We did weigh up a purchase vs a lease too. A monthly fee rather than a one off fee could be easier financially and potentially some good cars, like an Audi lease. Very nice cars! However after looking at finances we decided to buy.
There was a lot of things we considered before settling on a SEAT Alhambra.
Here are our top tips if you are looking for a car for three or more children:
– What type of car do you want? We looked at estates, SUVs and MPVs. The estates were my hubby’s first choice but they are very low down and therefore could be harder to bend to get your three kids in! Also I don’t think they are as roomy as MPVs. Not many SUVs could fit the three car seats. I was keen for a MPV due to the amount of space they have.
– Space. As I alluded to before space was a big factor. We knew we were after a MPV and considered the Ford S Max, SEAT Alhambra and the Volkswagen Touren. As we were after second hand, availability was also an issue. We couldn’t find a S Max anywhere local. The Volkswagen felt smaller inside where the Alhambra was just so spacious. The boot space is huge too, as long as not using the extra two seats. We knew sometimes may need to fit two buggies in and the Alhambra had this space.
– Insurance. The price of insurance should be factored in, as larger cars are normally more expensive to insure. If you need more space, a minibus may be the best solution. The good news is that minibus insurance is comparable to insuring a 7 seater car, and no special driving licence is required. A second had minibus will also let you plan staycations, saving you money on expensive flights. Check out this article for planning family outings and some suggested day trips. Fortunately it’s quite easy to compare car and minibus insurance quotes online with Insurance QuoteNI.
– Access to the car. As I said I was slightly put off with an estate as it would be hard to get the kids in, as lower down. What we loved about the Alhambra was the sliding doors and easy access to the seats. The girls can almost walk into the car and get themselves in. Far easier for my hubby.
– Price. There were some car models that would have suited for the size and car seat aspect but they were way out of our price league. You need to set a budget and try and stick to it. The Volkswagen Touran was more expensive than the Alhambra and we were told, they were pretty much identical in manufacture.
– Appearance – we knew this car would be about practicalities and not appearance but we still wanted the car to look good! We chose a black Alhambra, as although it does look slightly like a bus(!), the black is sleek. Some of the more eye-catching cars were out of our price-range like BMWs or Audis.
– Automatic versus manual. There was lot of availability for automatic Alhambras when looking and in our price range. I personally had never driven an automatic but loved it on the test drive. Friends said I could jump from manual to automatic easily and hubby agreed. We went for automatic!
Choosing our new car was actually less stressful than we thought it would be. We had our budget, needs and absolute essentials. This made life a lot easier and our browsing faster.
So far we are loving our new car, despite the getting used to driving a much bigger car!