You’ve seen them: the parents with huge 4x4s, taking up half the road, blocking the school entrance and almost certainly not going off-road or driving through the mountains at the weekend. In fact, maybe you’re one of them, or you’ve been contemplating whether it would be so bad if you were. After all, they’re some of the safest cars on the market. And if you’re already having to compete with tonnes of 4×4-driving parents on the school run, well…if you can’t beat them, join them, right? If you find you’ve accidentally fallen into the trap and bought a massive car, it’s not the end of the world, but you should do a few things to make sure your purchase is worth it.
Choose the Right One
If you haven’t bought your car yet, you’ve still got the chance to make sure you buy the right one. And if it’s too late, you’ll just have to make the best of it. If you’ve decided that the safety and the size offered by a four-wheel-drive car is what your family needs, those are probably the points you’re going to focus on when you shop for one. You want it to provide maximum safety, so you should start by checking safety ratings from Euro NCAP. When it comes to size, testing out a car with the kids (or at least their car seats) is often the best option.
Learn to Drive It
Look, you might feel all powerful behind the wheel of your brand new (or slightly used) 4×4. But keep in mind that people aren’t necessarily getting out of your way because they’re being polite. If you’re going to have a big car, the least you could do is learn how to drive it properly. You might have been driving for years, but it’s still important to treat every car differently. So take some time to get used to the feel of your car to make sure you can drive with courtesy and avoid just ploughing along.
Kit It Out With Kids’ Entertainment
You might have picked your car for the safety, but you can guarantee your kids don’t care how safe it is. When they’re bored in the back, “but it has blind spot monitoring” isn’t going to do much to impress them. So if you want to make your purchase worth it, you’re going to have to make sure there’s enough to entertain them. When you’re too tired for car games, videos to watch and music to listen to will keep them quiet.
Go on an Adventure
What’s the point of having an off-road car if you only ever drive it through Islington? The best way to justify the purchase of your car is to take it on an adventure. Thanks to that 4×4 suspension, you’ll be able to drive off-road and keep everyone happy in the back (and the front). Even if you don’t actually go off-road, you’ll have plenty of space to pack camping gear and great control if you want to go driving up some mountain passes.
If you’re going to get a huge car, you might as well make the most of it. If you do the right things, you can justify owning it, at least to yourself if not to anyone else.
This is a collaborative post.