The time has come. You or your partner is now due to give birth to your first child. The emotions you will feel will consist of extreme highs and lows, and you will ask so many questions. “Am I good enough?” “Will I cope?” And probably the most important one of all, “do I really have to trade in my Mazda MX5 for something sensible?” In one simple word, yes. Yes you do. But there are many reasons that you will need to upgrade (or downgrade, depending on your perspective) to something with more room for your shopping and the pram. In this guide I will show you what to look for when purchasing a family friendly vehicle. Space The final frontier when it comes to purchasing a family friendly vehicle. You need to think about this in relation to your family intentions, do you plan on having a large family or just the one child? If one is plenty, then you won’t need to think about upgrading to a much bigger vehicle, but think about leg room in the back seat and if it will be enough. Fuel Consumption You will need to think more economically now, especially when it comes to doing the school run. So, thinking about MPG and engine size versus the amount of miles you may cover in a given time will give you an idea of what to look for. Safety Features When it comes to installing car seats for children, in new models it is compulsory to obtain an Isofix seat or base, making the seat more secure. But that does depend on if you wish to purchase brand new or go for used models, Renault Retail has the option of looking at both online. Boot Space With the amount of shopping you’re going to be packing as well as the pram, you are going to need something with vast amounts of space so you don’t end up playing carboot tetris. You need to think about long journeys and are you planning on many overnight stays with your newborn? If so, a hatchback like an Astra can provide the boot space. Tax While you had ample finances to pay tax for your 2.0 litre engine before your little one came along, you now need to penny pinch where you can because it appears that having a child seems to come with lots of hidden costs! The more powerful the car, the more the cost. In looking for Facilities Not just to keep the children entertained on long journeys, but this can be your link to your old runaround, remember when you had music blaring? Well, if you find a car with bluetooth and mobile attachments and you can relive your younger, more carefree days. Also, many newer model cars have sat navs built in to take the hassle out of attaching a suction cup to your dashboard. Buying a car for the extended family unit comes with many queries, but ultimately it’s the safety of your family that comes first and foremost. When looking at new or used vehicles it is always something that should take priority. Becoming a parent is a wonderful and sometimes difficult journey, so you should have a car that makes that journey a bit easier.