If your days of stylish economy cars and convertibles are over and it’s time to invest in a family van, there are a number of considerations you should make before you decide which one to settle on.
You don’t want your van to break down halfway through your journey, particularly if you’re travelling a long distance with your family. It is, therefore, necessary to consider the reliability of the van before you commit to buying it. Most vans are built to withstand long journeys and heavy loads, but if you’re buying second hand, then you need to be wary of the van’s previous uses. Another thing to consider is engine size. If you’re going to be using your van as a run-around, then a smaller engine will ultimately save you fuel costs whereas a van needed for long journeys along the motorway would benefit more from a larger engine. As an example, a Renault traffic lease is available in two engine types; the variable geometry turbo and the DCI twin turbo.
This is usually the number one issue for families looking to buy a new van. Many prospective buyers consider issues regarding crash tests, rollover statistics and issues particular to child safety such as whether or not the vehicle has side airbags, although this remains controversial. Other safety features are things that can usually be found in up to date cars such as a collision warning system, adaptive cruise control and lane assist. These safety features are often what prompt people into buying a new van rather than going second-hand.
Two things that you need to consider are comfort and practicality. If you’ve got small children, then you need to make sure the van has room for multiple booster seats. Fitting an extra car seat in the middle may be crucial for some parents, so if this is the case, the seatbelt system must allow for this. For those who need plenty of space in the back, a van with fold down seats could be a good option, and this is a common feature in many minivans and SUVs. Many vans also have the luxury of sliding automatic doors and automatic starter buttons/keyless entry making it easier if you’re carrying bags of heavy groceries or a restless toddler on your hip.
Many vans on the market today that are catered to families tend to offer additional, kid-friendly, extras such as entertainment features. Things such as DVD players, CD changers, USB ports and Wi-Fi are great to keep kids occupied on long journeys. In addition, some parents are attracted to extras like tinted windows or even cup holders in the back seats. A feature for the grown-ups could be the ability to connect your mobile phone to the car system via Bluetooth, which helps to make life both safer and simpler.
You should always be prepared to search the market thoroughly to see what’s on offer, particularly if you have a certain vehicle in mind. It’s always wise to consider the amount that your new family van will cost to run, as sometimes the option you were initially drawn to isn’t necessarily the best one.