I haven’t bought too many brand new cars in my life, so one thing I understand is how BIG a deal it is when you do. Especially as a parent.
In fact, I still own the first ‘brand new’ car I ever bought, not because it’s still practical, but so I can hand it down to my soon to be 16-year-old daughter.
When I purchased my (extremely small) vehicle all those years ago, I’ll admit I wasn’t considering the capabilities from a mother’s point of view. And since I’ve now had to go out and buy a car that fits a family comfortably, I’ve learnt a few things (be them the good, the bad and the ridiculous).
And for every parent who has ever bought a new car, I think you might relate to a few of these.
1. Getting into it for the first time is better than Christmas Day.
Immediately someone yells out ‘shotgun’ and it is game on. There are fights over who gets to sit in the front seat (newsflash, none of you, that is for your father or my handbag). Then there’s all the playing with the new gadgets and wonders of modern engineering they didn’t have in the last car.
Normally you can’t get them into the car, but when you show them the new one, you are flat out getting them to leave.
2. You think about safety in a whole new way.
What once didn’t matter to you (how many airbags a car has, braking technology, etc) now means everything because of your precious cargo, and so you intend to do everything in your power to keep them safe – and you also want a car strong enough to cope with the demands of family life.
That’s why the Hyundai Tucson is perfect. It’s powerful, high performing and has advanced safety features like blind spot detection, lane keep assist, lane change assist, and autonomous emergency braking. All essential for your peace of mind.
3. Your kids will make some pretty outrageous demands.
Hot pink duco anyone? That was one of the ridiculous requests from my then 13-year-old daughter. She also wanted me to buy a very impractical Barbie ‘bug’ while my son was adamant that we should get a Transformer ‘Bumblebee’. Because all of those are completely reasonable requests right?
4. Decisions were made based on how easy it will be to clean.
Once you chose leather seats for luxury, but you now consider them because it’s easier to clean up a spilt milkshake. You look at the interior with less of an eye for appeal and more with the eyes of a parent who has discovered mysterious brown stains on the roof.
You’ll look at the air-conditioning vents to see whether they are likely hazard for hot chips to get stuck in. The ease with which it can be cleaned is a big factor.
5. Going for a test drive is no small feat.
Because you knew that it was rarely going to be just you in that car driving about, you almost had to make a day of it. And to really get a feel to what it would be like on a day-to-day basis, you brought along the neighbour’s kid (who always seems to be at your place anyway), the violin, two overstuffed schoolbags and the golden retriever.
6. Cup holders are important?
If I’m honest, my decision to buy a car has sometimes been heavily influenced by the amount of cup holders it has because as every parent knows, each child requires their own.
And to save our sanity and avoid conflict, it really is something that has affected my buying decision.
7. The first cut is the deepest.
It’s difficult at first, granted, to see a brand new car (or anything) cop its first scratch. Every parent knows the agony of seeing their child drag their school bag over the bonnet and dying a little inside. While I’m not saying it’s acceptable, it’s inevitable as a parent that you come to accept the fact that the car isn’t a display model and it’s there to be (respectfully) lived in.
There’s no denying that as a parent, purchasing a brand new car isn’t done on a whim. And while different cars suit different families, one thing we can all understand is that kids will be kids.
Have you bought a new car? How was your experience?
Did someone say new wheels?
Want more? Try these: