Have ford focus estate & have managed by using roofrack and leaving behind double buggy until now.but by next year we will have 4 kids - 6,4,2,and few months old. Haven't got much room to store a trailer/caravan and DH doesn't really want to tow. We do need a fair bit of boot space as will need the double buggy 7 baby gear so what does that leave us with.... A bus... poss VW transporter - anybody had one?
MIne are 7, 5 2 & 6months so the same ages as yours Henrietta (Congratulations btw) We have an old style Ford Galaxy and have removed the middle seat. The boot space is not great but fits a P&T double and a huge bag of stuff we cart about all the time (wellies, raincoats, balls, beach stuff etc)
When we camp we load up the footwells and use the space between the seats. Last month we fit all of us and all the camping gear in the car without the need for a roofbox or a trailor
Buy a Mazda Bongo - cheaper and better version of a VW transporter. Went on 3 week trip to scotland with 3 teenagers, 4 large dogs and camping gear, did have roofbox as well though. We took a row of seats out for this - takes minutes.
As it's eight seats and still has a reasonable boot space, it is ideal for a family and their friends. We used to get us - family of 5 - my parents and Dad's mobility scooter and all the shopping my Mum gets in comfortably.
We are expecting #5 next month and after looking at various bus type cars decided on the a LWB VW transporter, looked for ages and had to travel over 400 miles to get it, the best vehicle we've had! (had a Zafira before which I loathed and felt very 'unsafe' in especially with 4 dc's in it all the time, ok for a smaller family).
Has 9 seats and as it is LWB the boot is enormous, I love it. Feels very safe, like being higher off the road, and all the dc's have lots of room. The downsides are obviously road tax and fuel, having said that we drove to devon in the holidays which is a good 600 miles and filled it once when we left and again about two hours before we got home (13 hour journey) so really not too bad.
If you get one look around, ours was used as a transporter for staff in a VW garage, has all paperwork and all work has been done by VW. Good luck.