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What to look for when buying a family vehicle

Posted on Monday, April 20, 2015 at 3:40:43 PM

A family-friendly car isn't reserved for the minivan anymore. According to Kelley Blue Book, some of the best family cars include crossovers, SUVs and wagons.

While more options are great, this could mean you have a lot to think about if you're in the market for affordable auto financing and a family vehicle - whether that be a minivan, a crossover or something else entirely.

To help, Home Loan Investment Bank's Christine Dikdan recently offered some advice on the auto-buying process. For starters, she pointed out some of the features you should look for - beginning with a needs-based list.

"Ask yourself the important questions such as: Are we going to bring the kids and the kids' friends places?" Dikdan noted. "This could mean you need an eight-passenger capacity, depending on the size of your family."

She also recommended finding a vehicle which has fold-down seats for extra cargo room.

"Does it have a hitch or luggage rack options?" Dikdan added. "This feature is great for easy on/off bike/ski rack or towing options as well as additional rooftop cargo."

She also suggested looking for entertainment options.

"Does it have electronic entertainment capacity?" Dikdan asked. "This could be a preference, depending on your employment or a desire to make long road trips roll smoother by keeping the kids entertained."

Also keep in mind who is going to be driving. All of these factors combined will help you narrow down your vehicle search. Of course, never overlook cost and your budget when making this decision.

"It is very important to budget accurately for vehicle expenses - and all expenses for that matter," concluded Dikdan. "When budgeting for a vehicle, in addition to the monthly payments of auto financing, also include insurance costs, maintenance and fuel costs. These all add up and should be included for the total family budget."