If you have a tiny tot on the way then then you will know that there are a million and one things to think about, from cots, prams, and bouncers to lifestyle changes. But one of the things you might not have considered is your vehicle. Is your car reliable enough for the new arrival? Here are a few things to take into consideration when assessing if your car will be suitable for a new baby:
Some cars have been assessed and rated using the Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) testing system. The NCAP assesses driver and pedestrian protection as well as child safety, and each car is rated on a 5-star scale. The system is voluntary, so you won’t be able to get a rating for all cars, but it is worth checking out if you are in the market for a new automobile. The Seat Leon 1.6 (2012) received an impressive 92% child protection score, and was awarded 5 stars, and the Vauxhall Mokka 1.7 (2012) and Volkswagen Beetle 1.2 (2011) both received a 90% and were also awarded 5 stars.
It is also important to think about the car’s mechanical history, especially taking into account how much repair work the vehicle has needed so far. If you have had any recent concerns about sloppy brakes or unusual engine noises, now would be the time to get it serviced, or even get a car valuation and swap your vehicle to a more reliable and child friendly model.
All car seats in the UK have been assessed and approved prior to sale, so rest assured that you will be buying a tried, tested, and safety approved item. However not all cars are equipped to fit these seats in securely. When buying a car, you should check that it has the correct fittings to clip the seat into. Some cars have ISOFIX car seat attachments which are highly recommended, and definitely something to consider when buying a new car.
Size and Space
The next vital thing to think about is how spacious the vehicle is. Will it have all the room you need for your new baby and the child seat? Will it be awkward to get the baby in and out of the car? Five-door cars will be undoubtedly easier in this case. It’s also time to assess your boot space. Is there enough room to fit in bottles, nappies and wet wipes? Not to mention the buggy!
And finally, how comfortable is the car to be in and to drive? When the new baby arrives this is going to become all the more important, especially if driving will be one of the few times when you get to sit down. Caring for a baby can be tiring, so make sure your journeys are as comfortable and smooth as possible!