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Are Kids in Charge of Choosing the Family Car?

October 9, 2015

  • 37% of parents admit children influence their choice of car
  • Kids have their say on colour, comfort and kit
  • Safety remains a priority for parents


Buying a new car can be an exciting time, but there are a wide variety of variables to consider before you seal the deal. From design and colour to practicality and comfort, each buyer will have a different reason for picking a certain car – and in a recent survey by AutoTrader, over a quarter of parents admitted that children play a big part in the family car they choose.

So while you might be the one at the wheel, is it really the kids who are in charge?

Keeping it in the family

Extending your family brings with it any number of changes, and AutoTrader’s survey revealed that 78% of the 1000 parents surveyed claimed that having kids led them to buying a new car. And it’s not just the extension of their families that are causing drivers to trade in their wheels – the kids want a say in the matter, too!

Children typically have opinions on colour, comfort and in-car tech – persuading their parents to lean towards cars that will please the whole family. For parents, however, the consensus was clear: topping the list of most important family car features was safety – with 27% of parents citing it as their main consideration when buying a family car.

Parents vs kids

Family cars generally provide more functionality than other models – with parents needing more practical options than non-parent drivers. With reliability taking top priority for most buyers, cupholders, storage space and legroom are particular concerns for those who regularly travel with children.

But kids are more concerned with their favourite car colour and in-car technology – and it seems their parents are easily persuaded. When asked by AutoTrader, 26% of the parents surveyed said they were influenced by their children’s choice of car colour.

Whether or not you take the opinions of your children on board when looking for a family friendly car, key things to consider include:

  • Tech – as the nation’s love of gadgets continues to grow, keeping your kids occupied in the car is getting easier – thanks to a range of in-car tech
  • Safety – airbags and other safety features should be considered when buying a car suitable for children
  • Comfort – for those travelling with children, comfort is key – keeping your kids happy and your eyes on the road
  • Practicality – from loading your little ones into the car to safely installing car seats, practicality is high on most parents’ must-have lists

Best family cars

Over the years, cars have become more than just a means of transportation. From assisting with house moves to providing a setting for school-run squabbles, your car is an extension of your home – so why not tailor it to suit your family?

With so many makes and models on the market, the hunt for the perfect family car can often be challenging – but here’s a brief rundown of some the best family cars in the business.

Vauxhall Insignia

As far as hatchbacks go, the Vauxhall Insignia is nothing if not practical. Coming with a low loading lip for easy boot access, and Bluetooth and touchscreen infotainment systems as standard, it’s a big hit with parents across the UK.

Skoda Octavia

If you’re looking to be comfortable as well as cut costs, the no-nonsense Skoda Octavia is the way to go. Low emissions and accessibility are high on this car’s agenda, making it the ideal large family ride.

Ford Focus

Coming with bags of head and legroom, the Ford Focus is up there with the most spacious family cars on the market. Widely considered to be Britain’s favourite family car, the Ford Focus shows no sign of relinquishing its spot in the family car class.

We can’t guarantees your kids would agree with these family friendly favourites, but we’ll leave the decision to you.

So whether you’re looking for the best small family car or a super spacious seven seater, prepare for some input from your little ones!

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.