Buy a freedom machine - upgrade to a bigger car
Since the very beginning of the auto industry, cars have represented more than just a way to get from A to B. They represent the freedom to go places, make choices, be spontaneous, explore and discover, travel to distant destinations, escape and unwind and go on an adventure.
The earliest advertisements for cars promoted them as machines of freedom, taking you wherever you like, whenever you like. Not much has changed, with cars continuing to represent the very idea of freedom and spontaneity.
But if your car is too small for you, it could be holding you back from making the most of your vehicle.
Of course, if you live in the inner-city, are single, or don’t venture out that often, a smaller car is probably best for you.
But if you have a growing family, a hobby that involves transporting or towing gear, or a love of camping or getting off the beaten track, it’s more than likely your small vehicle just isn’t cutting it anymore.
Here is how to know if you need a bigger car and what to buy.
1. You have more passengers
Whether you’re a parent or grandparent, having a car that comfortably seats your children or grandchildren and all the extra stuff that comes with them often means upgrading to a bigger one.
The days of putting your grocery bags and shopping on the back seat are long gone, replaced by children’s car seats, little people, teenagers and their friends. Some small cars only really comfortably seat two people in the back, so if you’ve regularly got three rear passengers or more, this alone can justify buying a bigger car.
Look for cars with plenty of room for three people in the back and consider seven seater cars for those times when you want or need to transport more than your usual crew.
2. You need extra cargo space
Whether it’s golf clubs, bikes, prams, school bags, shopping, camping gear or luggage, if it doesn’t fit in or on your car, it’s time to upsize.
Your boot size will also be an important consideration if your back seat is in regular use. Not all boots are created equal, even in large cars, so do your research to find those that have the most space. And when you’re out car hunting, bring your tape measure and the items you regularly want to put in your boot to make sure they fit.
Unlike small cars, large cars also have the ability to tow trailers, which can come in handy for everything from getting items home from Bunnings or Ikea to camping or moving house.
3. You travel on rugged terrain
Even if you don’t have five or more people regularly in the car, if you live in a rural area or like getting away to destinations where you need to drive on sand, dirt or snow, a bigger car will handle these a lot better than a smaller one (if it can handle them at all).
Look for cars that sit higher off the ground, such as SUVs, which can reduce your chances of getting bogged and minimise the number of dents and scratches to the underside of your vehicle.
4. You want the safest car possible
Fact: bigger cars are safer than smaller cars. Reports and studies have shown that a vehicle’s size directly impacts on its safety rating, so if safety is a priority for you, in this case bigger is definitely better.