This guest article was provided by Emily Graham of MightyMoms.net. Photo via Pexels
When you have kids, pretty much everything in your life changes. One area that many people might assume doesn’t change much is driving. However, new parents often find themselves worried about both the danger and the cost that comes with relying on a car for their family’s transport. Luckily, there are things you can do to address both.
Buy the Car You Need
Parenthood can send a lot of people into a car-driving frenzy, opting for models that are bigger and more expensive than what they really need. Time to be a smart shopper; stick to an affordable model that covers your basic requirements. According to Kelley Blue Book, some of the best affordable family cars include the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek and the 2022 Honda HR-V.
Review Your Car Insurance
See if you can save money on your car insurance. For example, if you are buying a second car (or already have one), you could get a multi-car discount, as long as all the cars on the policy are passenger vehicles garaged in the same household, with at least liability coverage. You can also bundle your auto and home insurance.
A sobering 14 percent of all fatal car accidents in the U.S. involve the use of a mobile phone. If you are still guilty of the occasional peek at a text or work email, it’s time to eliminate this habit for your family’s safety. While smartphones obviously need to be hands-free while driving, they can also be a great navigational tool. That’s why a car charger is not only just what you need to keep from running out of juice before you reach your destination, but it’s also a great way to keep your hands off that phone and on the steering wheel.
Get a Convertible Car Seat
Convertible car seats involve a higher upfront cost than infant seats, and they are bulkier. However, they are cheaper in the long run, as you only ever have to buy one seat. Babylist has several recommendations for the best convertible car seats on the market, including a great budget option for $134.99. Remember: You should never buy car seats second-hand, and do not reuse car seats older than five years if you have more children.
Know What Maintenance Your Car Actually Needs
According to Reader’s Digest, there are several maintenance “rules” that are actually quite outdated. Most modern cars, for instance, don’t require regular tune-ups or lube jobs. You should, however, change the brake fluid every four or five years and get foggy headlights fixed professionally. Additionally, always read your manual; knowing your specific car’s needs will ensure you maintain it safely without wasting money.
Have a Winter Emergency Kit
If you don’t have a winter car emergency kit yet, now is the time to get one. This doesn’t have to be expensive. The priciest thing is a pair of jumper cables (under $30 at retailers such as Autozone) or some extra oil and antifreeze. The rest—food, blankets and extra clothes—can be brought in from home. Should you find yourself in a situation where you have to use your emergency kit, it’s important to remain calm. You can use deep breathing techniques to help you remain calm and clear headed. This will help you respond appropriately in emergency situations.
Not only is it necessary to protect your family from the elements, it’s a good idea to do the same for your vehicle by parking it in a garage. If you do not have one, now is a good time to consider building one. Not only does a garage help your auto avoid damage from weather and other things such as falling limbs, it’s one of the most attractive amenities of a home when it comes time to sell.
Parents worry about two things all the time: their children’s safety and how expensive having children is. Don’t let your car be yet another source of these anxieties. Driver safety doesn’t have to be expensive, and saving money on your car should never compromise your family’s safety. As long as you keep these two things in mind, you will be able to maximize driving safety while minimizing driving costs.
Serenity Birth is South Bay's Pregnancy & Birth Concierge offering a holistic approach to pregnancy & birth. Patricia is an Experienced and Certified Birth Doula, Childbirth Educator, and Prenatal Yoga Instructor in Los Angeles.
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