Choosing a Car for the Family

by Steven ( Pre-3’s parent)

I have always felt a sense of guilt about driving due to the effects that cars have on the environment. Because of this I usually choose smaller cars that are fuel efficient.

Now that we have a family we had to consider a car that was big enough to fit all of us comfortably. My wife and I had to come to a decision about what type of vehicles we wanted for our family. I really liked the idea of an electric vehicle but unfortunately the ones I liked were out of our price range and still did not address the issue of providing enough space for the whole family. We began our search for the solution to our dilemma.

It seemed as if we were surrounded by a sea of SUV’s and minivans and I began to feel I was doing a disservice to my children by not providing them with the perceived sense of security these vehicles provided. We had decided that we wanted to purchase one of these vehicles. After doing a lot of research we settled on the Toyota Sienna. We searched all over for the perfect Sienna but even the used ones seemed to be a bit overpriced for what they offered. We could sell one of our cars and buy the Sienna but we would also be getting a new car payment every month with the Sienna. This is something that we both wanted to avoid.

I decided to reassess the situation and see if we could come up with an alternative plan that was viable. Right now we have two cars, a Toyota Camry and Nissan Sentra. Both are great cars that have never given us any issues. Both cars were perfect for the whole family when driving around the city and both cars got good fuel economy especially when compared to a minivan or SUV. The only downside to the vehicles is that  neither one would be ideal for family vacations due to the large amount of stuff our family takes on vacations.

In the end we decided to keep the cars that we have and held off on getting something bigger. We are happy with the cars that we have and to increase space we are having custom roof racks installed on the Camry with a box on top for storing luggage. The Camry will now be the primary vacation vehicle and the box on the roof should enable us to travel in the Camry without feeling cramped for space.

To me this ended up being the ideal solution because we were able to increase storage space in the car while at the same time avoiding a car payment and decreased fuel economy. Now we just have to wait for the next vacation in order to determine if the roof rack with box will be the final solution or if we have to break down and buy a bigger vehicle.