Does Your Family Need Another Vehicle?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Family life is all go, go go. There's always errands to be run, kids to ferry around and appointments to get to- and so if you've been getting by with one car then you might be finding it a struggle. With a shared car between you and your partner (and perhaps even with a teenager who has recently passed their test) chances are you've been considering whether purchasing a second vehicle to make life easier. But as these things can be expensive it's not a decision to be made lightly. If you're on the fence, here are a few things to consider.

Do You Really Need the Extra Vehicle?

Is another vehicle essential, or are there other options? If you or your partner don't live too far from work, could you walk or even bike it instead? Are there good public transport links you could take advantage of, or any carpooling schemes? If you already have one car, you'll already be able to travel and get to places that are further away if needed. If you only need the second car for smaller trips, perhaps it's not worth it. On the other hand, if you and your partner both work a fair distance from home, or you're a stay at home parent and need to do a lot of running around for your kids during the day then the price of running a second car could be well worth it.

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Can You Afford it?

On top of the cost of an extra vehicle, you will need to consider insurance, tax, fuel and repair costs too which can all add up. Can you afford to do all of this again, when you already pay for a car? There are ways you can lower costs, for example some insurers will give you a discount if there are multiple cars on the policy. You could also consider car finance to spread the large upfront cost of a vehicle into affordable monthly instalments. Still though, the cost to buy, run and maintain two vehicles in a household is significant, make sure you've worked out the costs and ensured this fits in your monthly budget without the need to feel the pinch too much financially.

Which Vehicles Will You Go For?

If you already have a car, perhaps a moped or motorbike would suffice? This will be cheaper to buy and run, and if it will only be used for getting to work or running general errands then it could be an option for some families. This of course wont be an option if you will be transporting children or masses of groceries around, and if you need something larger, if you need something to get kids around and hold things like bikes, prams, groceries and more then an SUV or MPV might be the best option. That way you and your partner both have a car each, but one vehicle is best for bigger jobs and when you need more room. Otherwise, another midsize car could be what you're after, go with something with enough space and decent safety features too. Any car accident attorney will tell you that car accidents are still rife, and when you're carrying the precious cargo of your children you of course want it to be as safe as possible. Curtain airbags, anti roll bars and blind spot cameras are all examples. You could read crash and safety reports too, and choose a vehicle that has been proven to do well in the event of an accident.

Is There Place For Two Vehicles to Park?

Unless you're lucky enough to have a double garage or driveway, then you will probably need to work our parking arrangements. Will you need to apply for a second parking permit if you live in a permitted area? Is there enough off street parking for a second car, or if you have a driveway or garage, which car gets to use it? The most valuable makes sense, although it might be better for insurance to run quotes and see which would benefit most from not being parked on the road.

For some families, having two vehicles is simply essential and life would be incredibly difficult without them. For others, there might be other alternatives you could consider that would make more sense and work out to be cheaper financially too. If you do want to get a second vehicle, always weigh up the pros and cons and importantly, the costs. Know what all of your other options and make your decision carefully.
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