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What to Consider When Choosing the Perfect Car for Family Road Trips

April 18, 2024

Road trips are a great way to spend time together as a family. When you’re travelling cross country your life can depend on your vehicle. You don’t want to break down in the middle of nowhere, especially when the weather is extreme and the phone reception is poor. This is why choosing the right vehicle is so super important. You need something robust, durable, and reliable. If you have limited experience in mechanics and lack confidence around cars, you might need a bit of guidance in choosing the right car for your travels. This post will explore this topic in more detail, telling you everything you need to consider when selecting a car for family road trips.

Car Size

One of the very first things you need to think about is car size. Obviously the larger the car, the more it can carry. Large cars like most Mitsubishi models, can be expensive – but you can get Mitsubishi finance and finance for most other car brands. If you plan on entering into a financial repayment agreement with a car manufacturer, make sure you look at the repayments long term to get the best deal. Repayment schemes allow you to upgrade but are also a long term commitment. Sometimes setting up a direct debit payment scheme allows a small discount. Enquire about this when you’re discussing with your car dealer..

Storage Options

Travelling for long periods of time means that you need to carry your life belongings with you. If you’re planning on doing regular road trips you want to make sure you have plenty of boot space as well as a conformable amount of space in the cabin areas. It’s easy enough to research how much interior space a vehicle has online. If you’re uncertain whether your car is big enough it might be worth looking into adding a roof box.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency is something else you should think about. With petrol prices higher than ever, you need a car that gets you where you need to get without having to spend a fortune on fuel. If the car you are buying is brand new, the chances are it will be economical. Most new cars have been produced with fuel economy in mind. You may even want to consider buying a hybrid vehicle. A hybrid vehicle is one that is both electric and powered by gas. Hybrid cars can be a little expensive initially, but they save you a lot of money in the long term, plus it’s better for the planet too.


Remember that if you are going to buy a car on finance, you will also need to put an initial deposit payment down. The deposit is usually around 5% of the car’s total value, although you can sometimes find better deals if you look hard enough. The larger the deposit the smaller the repayments should be long term. If you are able to stretch your finances it’s really worth going all out on that initial payment so that you’re not bearing the burden of huge monthly repayments.

Interior Space

A large car is not necessarily going to have a spacious interior, small vehicles also have clever fittings and designs features that maximise space and comfort. It goes without saying that the more space you have in your car, the more enjoyable long journeys are going to be. It’s also worth considering the pros and cons of fabrics and materials when considering comfort. Leather can be soft but gets hot in warm weather. Fabric is softer but gets dirty easily. Give these some thought before committing..

Safety Features

If you are travelling across the country with your family in the car, you need to do everything you can to ensure that the car you are travelling in is safe for them. You can look into how safe a car model is by reading reviews posted about it on the internet. Alternatively, you can view the manufacturer’s safety information on the car’s page on their website. Make sure that you ask the dealer about safety features if you have any concerns. Security features are also important, so make sure the car comes with an alarm and an immobiliser.


Your family won’t want to sit in a car with you for long periods of time if they are not comfortable. In my experience comfort directly corelates to the amount of moaning you hear! Make sure that in addition to getting the most comfortable car that you can, you map out a route that’s not too intense. Driving through the desert with a young family in a car without A/C might be hard work. Comfort is very important. A good way to test out a car’s comfort level is to try it out in person. Get in the back seat and imagine you’re there for a good few hours – is it luxury? Or torture?


What gadgets does the car you’re buying come with? If you are not sure what gadgets you want, consider getting in touch with the dealer and asking them to explain to you what the most desirable gadgets are today among car buyers. Cup holders, GPS, air conditioning, heated sets etc etc… all these small additions make a big impact when spending long hours in your car. Bear in mind that cars can usually be customised if they are being purchased directly from the manufacturer, so even if the model you like doesn’t come with factory gadgets, you can ask them to install them for you.

Air Conditioning

Finally, unless your heading for cold climates, air conditioning is a must. If you plan on travelling through the summer months make sure your car has air conditioning and ideally window tints that can keep the sun out.

The main focus for your road trip, of course should be the adventure itself. Sometimes the hiccups and small dramas are the parts of travel adventures we remember best. Make the best of it whatever vehicle you have – as long as it’s road worthy the open road is yours for the taking!

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