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Do I really need a family car?

(21 Posts)
Mrsworktoomuch Fri 27-Nov-20 20:33:47

2 DCs under 6 and I'm sick of the big long car (which is dying) that im dreadful at parking.
We are in a suburb.
I'm eyeing up a small hatch and would love a small fun car like mini countryman.
Is it really impractical? I dont use for shopping, groceries etc are all delivered.
We might struggle to fit kids bikes, but will need racks when kids move to proper mountain bikes. Also might need taxi if holidaying or can borrow my dads for those odd trips.

OP’s posts: |
BackforGood Fri 27-Nov-20 23:41:45

I'd make sure it has 4 doors.

Reasons I found our people carrier useful :
1.Giving a lift to one of your dc's friends (or more in a people carrier - some small cars only have 4 seats, not 5)
2. Taking stuff to the tip
3. Lugging about "stuff" either for work, or for hobbies, including your dcs' hobbies as they go through the next 10 years
4 Taking stuff to the charity shop
5. Shopping - though I see you do on-line and have that delivered
6. Holidays - you say you can borrow your Dad's
7 Trips that are longer journey to visit extended family or friends far and wide
8. Those 'occasional' trips you do, like collecting the Christmas Tree, or collecting a piece of furniture or white goods you might be given, or buy 2nd hand, or when you donate stuff like that
9 [With hindsight, this was used FAR to regularly over the years my dc were 3 - 13] Having your picnic sitting in the boot, when it rains on a day out grin

Shortfeet Fri 27-Nov-20 23:58:17

I had 3 kids and a Fiat 500
No problems whatsoever
I hate big cars .

Mrsworktoomuch Sat 28-Nov-20 00:34:26

I'm back to sitting on the fence based on your responses grin

OP’s posts: |
Letseatgrandma Sat 28-Nov-20 00:40:33

It depends if it’s the family’s only car?

Fine to have a Fiat 500 if you’ve got a bigger car as well, to use for days out/holidays/tip runs.

ArcheryAnnie Sat 28-Nov-20 00:48:52

Get the smaller one, every time. Easier to park, cheaper to run, other road users won't hate you quite so much.

ArcheryAnnie Sat 28-Nov-20 00:51:54


It depends if it’s the family’s only car?

Fine to have a Fiat 500 if you’ve got a bigger car as well, to use for days out/holidays/tip runs.

This is a ludicrous answer. If you really need a bigger car once in a blue moon, you can always hire one.

I do find it quite silly that people can only seem to manage when every single adult in a household has their own car available to them 24/7, when they could just as easily share. In a rural area this might - just - be reasonable, but in a suburb it is ridiculous.

BackforGood Sat 28-Nov-20 01:01:03

This is a ludicrous answer. If you really need a bigger car once in a blue moon, you can always hire one.

and I find the idea of hiring a car at the drop of a hat rather ludicrous.

When we only had one car, and dh used to have to be away fro weekends a few times a year, the cost of hiring a car was more than the cost of running our own (we tried it once). Then there is also the practicality of getting it and returning it, and the worries about tiny scratches on it if someone touched it in a car park or a stone chipped it when you were driving.

It's not ridiculous at all for 2 adults to find life a lot easier when they have a car each. Every family has their own set of circumstances.

Elai1978 Sat 28-Nov-20 09:42:23

The Countryman is a good choice but it’s not a small car. Similar in size to a Qashqai.

AnotherEmma Sat 28-Nov-20 11:03:10

What car are you driving atm?
I'm sure you could find something smaller that's not too small.
With two young children you do need space for car seats and then (depending how long you hope to have the car) leg room as they grow.
Something like the Seat Ibiza? It has good cabin space relative to the external size.

AnotherEmma Sat 28-Nov-20 11:09:12

Also if you're a geek like me you might find this website interesting/helpful

escape Sat 28-Nov-20 12:41:52

I feel your dilemma.
Honestly think it depends on lifestyle and budget.
Our lifestyle has changed dramatically & so has our budget.
The dilemma was stretching to a bigger car for 'those times' when in reality, It means a trip with DD to uni digs once or twice a year.
We haven't had a holiday for 11 years, and the reality of needing a bigger car for luggage etc is completely negated for the forseeable.
We have 3 teenagers btw, and as long as it's a 5 door and can fit the weekly shop in, that would be big enough for our non existent 'lifestyle'

Mrsworktoomuch Sat 28-Nov-20 18:45:33

The countryman looks small compared to our 23 year old, 90s style 4 litre monster. I'd definitely enjoy driving a fiat 500 or seat ibiza!

We only want 1 car though appreciate some families might need 2 if one is used for work etc or in rural areas. Theres no need for us in the suburb.

Agree 5 door is a must with children. It's booster seats, no bulky car seats.

I guess it comes down to boot space for things like luggage as mentioned. Rose tinted nostalgia of squeezing my duvet and life posessions to drive to uni in my first car...

The dimension website is really useful thanks. I think what i dont like is long cars!

Dh is learning towards a compact suv type family car

OP’s posts: |
KitKat1985 Sat 28-Nov-20 18:53:36

I've got a 5-door Fiesta. It's fine for almost all my day to day things, and it's cheap to run, easy to park etc (and it's the 2013 1 litre model so free tax too)! Most of my shopping is delivered now but when I have done a weekly shop in person I can get most in the boot, and just fit a few extra bags of shopping behind the front seats. On the odd occasion I have had to do a tip run I just fold the back seats down and leave the kids at home with DH.

The only thing I probably wouldn't manage with it is fitting several suitcases in to go on holiday, but to be honest at Gatwick it's pretty much the same price to pay for a return taxi for the airport run as it is to pay for a weeks airport car parking, so I figure I may as well just pay for a taxi for that purpose, so no big deal.

AnotherEmma Sat 28-Nov-20 18:55:15

If you have space to store a roof box when it's not needed, that could be a good option.

I quite liked the Kia Niro when we were looking, it doesn't have a huge boot but it's decent, and there's lots of leg room plus I just liked the look of it blush Would that fit the bill?

AnotherEmma Sat 28-Nov-20 19:14:00

How about the Seat Arona? It won best used small SUV of the year in the Whatcar awards.

Mrsworktoomuch Sat 28-Nov-20 19:54:11

The Aurona looks great!
I'm obsessively putting everything into the car dimension comparison site, it gives length and boot space.. brilliant!

OP’s posts: |
AnotherEmma Sat 28-Nov-20 19:57:30

Glad I'm not the only one grin
I've now decided I want a Skoda Kamiq (despite being very anti SUV until now - I love my Octavia but hate parking it, it's too long!)

Figgyboa Sat 28-Nov-20 20:01:44

I personally think its too small/impractical as a family car. I think you're DH is on the right track with a compact SUV.

Elai1978 Sat 28-Nov-20 22:15:56

The countryman looks small compared to our 23 year old, 90s style 4 litre monster.

Depends what it is really, cars have generally got significantly larger since the 90’s. A ‘98 7 series for example looks tiny compared to a modern one.

Mixingitall Sat 28-Nov-20 22:19:24

We have a Honda Civic, it’s a fabulous size and lots of fun to drive. It’s a 1litre turbo.

Go and have a look at some cars, hatch backs are plenty big enough.

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