Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Window Shopping for Cars

At some point, when all this rubbish is over and done with, I will share a post about my insurance company. It's going to be a post worth reading so keep an eye out for that!

In the meantime, I have been discovering a whole new world of window shopping. I have been browsing the t'interweb and real world for a replacement motor. I have had soooo much advice from so many people too. Some of it unsolicited, some of it good, and some not so good. But I have worked out that from my point of view there are two schools of people I need to speak to. My local and highly trusted garage, and other parents!

In an ideal world where money was no object I would go and buy a VW Caravelle. I love those things! I have always loved them. 9 seats, tons of boot space, iconic.... what's not to love? Oh... the price tag! Sadly money IS an object, one I don't have all that much of. So even a 2nd Caravelle is well out of my price range for the age that I want. Time to look at other things!

First, a check list:

  • 7 Seats (due to plans for a 4th baby)
  • STURDY 3rd row of seats to be safer for the kids.
  • Boot space for a pram and shopping (possibly a double buggy for a while)
  • Less than 6 years old
  • Manual transmission
  • Either low mileage petrol, or if higher mileage, diesel
  • At least 6m MOT and Tax included, full service history
  • EASY TO CLEAN INSIDE
Extras
  • CD Player
  • Bluetooth
Now, I had a number of people recommend the Vauxhall Zafira to me. But to be honest they look a bit poky in the boot. Esp with the back row of seats up. And after chatting with other mums of 3+ kiddies I have been told that this is indeed the case! Most have either complained that there is no room, the phrase "tight squeeze" got used a LOT, or have simply upgraded to a larger car. Although parents who had up to 3 kids said they were awesome!

Car's we've looked at - Pics from CarCraft.co.uk
Cars we've looked at - Pics from www.CarCraft.co.uk
We've been driving a VW Touran these last few weeks while waiting for the Insurance to sort everything, and it has been lovely. But again, with that 3rd row up there's no boot. And that back row is waaaay to close to the outside world for my liking. Another rear impact that the one that killed my last car.... well anyone in the back would not come off well. And that was a low speed impact.

I was recommended a lot of other cars, from Chrysler's to Toyota's, but 3 kept coming up time and time again. Ford Galaxy, Seat Alhambra, and VW Sharan. I mentioned them to the boss of my local garage and he thinks that any of them (which are basically the same car with different badges on) would be a sound choice. I was worried that the 3rd row of seats are occasion/folding on these and not fixed like my beloved Caravelle, but he assured me they were as safe enough as the car surrounding them was structurally sound - other cars less so. The boot space is also reasonable of these cars, given that they have a folding back row.

In truth, we will only need that 3rd row of seats if we do have a 4th baby, and if we are all 6 in the car at the same time. That wont happen that often! Only when we all go off together which would be holidays and those occasional trip to see the in-laws. Maybe a half dozen times a year if that. The rest of the time it's usually just me on my own or with the youngest kids while the older ones are in school/nursery. And we hadn't planned on upgrading the car to a 7-seater until we had that 4th baby.... but since the car we had got written off it seems pointless getting something that might be too small sooner rather than later.

I've been round some of the local second hand and new car dealerships and asked to have a poke around some of these cars to get a better feel for them. So far they have been very helpful with the looking at stuff, but not so helpful with the finding ones to buy - mainly because I give them a budget and they double it! So right now I am LOVING my AutoTrader and Motors.co.uk apps on the ol' iPad! Itching for my cheques to clear so I can go and BUY one!
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