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What should you consider when buying a car for a baby?

What should you consider when buying a car for a baby?

Are you about to welcome a newborn in the next few months? Here is everything you should be considering when looking at cars for babies and expectant mums.

Given the hundreds of other things you’ve got to think about when preparing for the arrival of a new baby, it’s perhaps not surprising that looking into getting a new car is likely one of the last things on your mind.

Yet, while it might be tempting to just stick with the vehicle you have right now, you might very well find it’s not the best car for a baby – especially if it’s rather small. But don’t panic about adding this as another job to your ever-growing list. Instead, let us ease the load with some handy tips.

We’ve enlisted the help of a few of Zuto’s mums and dads to give you some tried and tested tips to consider when looking at the best cars for babies, including how you can use our car finance options to your advantage to minimise the financial burden of welcoming a new child into the world.

So, without further ado, here are our top 6 tips to follow when looking at cars for babies.

1. Choose a reliable car

Reliability and safety will probably never play as important a part in your car buying decision as when you have a baby on the way. Imagine getting stuck on the hard shoulder with a baby because your car broke down unexpectedly?

It might seem obvious, but when it comes to the best cars for babies, make sure you do your research and read as many reviews as possible. This way, you can be sure you buy a car that suits your particular needs and comes with a reliable rating.

2. Always go for a 5-door vehicle

Practicality should also be one of your biggest considerations once you have a child, which means we strongly recommend picking a five-door vehicle.

When you’re carrying a young baby in and out of a car, you don’t want to have the added complications of negotiation a three-door car, and having to fold a seat back to reach your child.

3. Pick a car with plenty of boot space

It goes without saying that once your baby arrives, you’re probably going to be using a buggy every day for the next two and a half years. Prams are an essential piece of kit when you’re out and about with your little one, and it’ll make life far easier if that buggy fits comfortably into the boot of your car.

Whether the car or buggy comes first is up to you, but we’d advise researching the dimensions of the buggy you like so you can find a car with a big enough boot to store it.

Rob in our marketing department opted to go buggy first, “we decided to take the buggy on our test drive so we knew if it would fit in the boot, and could determine what extra room we’d have to carry all the other baby essentials and the weekly supermarket shop.”

Looking at the best cars for prams, we’d recommend the Vauxhall Astraor the Volkswagen Golf, both of which have ample boot space for day-to-day family needs.

4. Determine your ISOFIX solution

We hear you, what on earth is ISOFIX?

For those who don’t know, ISOFIX stands for International Standards Organisation FX. It’s an internationally-standardised car seat fitting system that allows you to securely fit a car seat for your little one without using a seat belt.


All ISOFIX-approved car seats carry the above symbol, and since 2018, the UK Government has specifically mandated the sale of ISOFIX car seats. Additionally, all new cars manufactured since 2006 carry ISOFIX fittings.

However, while this means the best cars for baby seats will be relatively easy to find, there are different ISOFIX systems to consider. For instance, you’ll need to find a seat with an ISOFIX solution that fits into your car. It’s especially important to consider this if you’re a two-car family and will be swapping your baby seat between the vehicles.

Mary, who works in our people team, has three children and knows only too well the intricacies of car seats, “it's definitely worth looking at the seat contours. Our family car was a BMW 5 series and big. However, when trying to fit car seats properly, the shape of the seats didn't allow for a solid fix. Also, check where the ISOFIX units are placed - two car seats can end up taking up the whole back row.”

Most manufacturers will provide information on their website about their ISOFIX standards, so you can check your car’s compatibility with relative ease. You can also learn more about ISOFIX on the Child Car Seats website.

5. Consider your car’s seat materials

As any mum or dad can tell you, baby wipes will become one of your key allies throughout parenthood, so it’s worth considering how easy your car interiors will be to clean.

Steve, a product manager here at Zuto, raised this good point, “mess and kids of all ages go hand in hand. For babies and toddlers, wipeable seat materials are an absolute win! They are easy to clean, and keeping your vehicle as stain-free as possible helps to maintain the saleability of your vehicle when you want to upgrade.”

So, needless to say, it’s worth inquiring with the seller how easy it is to clean the seats of any cars for babies that you’re interested in. If it’s within your budget, it’s always wise to buy a car with leather seats as leather is much easier to clean than fabric.

6. Don’t forget to dis-engage the front seat airbag if you need to

For young babies to travel in the front of your car, you’ll need to disengage the passenger seat airbag. Otherwise, your child may be at risk in the event of an accident. If you can’t disengage the airbag, then your baby will legally need to travel in the back.

So, as a final note when looking at your car options, consider asking the seller or company how easy it is to disable the front airbag.

And there you have it; those are our top tips for finding a baby-friendly car. Of course, you’ll also want to consider your own personal tastes, but with these in mind, you should have little trouble getting great value for money on your new car.

But if you’ve done all your research and still feel you need some help determining what you can afford, why don’t you visit our car finance calculator? You can also get in touch with our team to ask about our car finance options, as well as visiting the Zuto blog for more informative articles, like our piece on the best 7-seat cars for big families.

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