Our second car is costing us a fortune to keep on the road and has now developed a very strange habit of flashing its hazard warning lights when the doors are opened (regardless of whether the engine is on) and the windscreen wipers can't be relied on.
Unfortunately due to work we can't manage without 2 cars although I would love to be able to and did when I was at home with the children.
Our main car is a Citreon Bellingo. We bought it just before the twins were born. It was a year old and as the design is converted from the Citreon van was a lot cheaper than other family cars of a similar age. There weren't many of these on the road at the time and I wasn't convinced that I liked it.
Nearly 7 years on I am a convert - it has been absolutely fantastic as a family car. Clearly other people think so too as you see so many more on them on the road now.
It has a generous boot which is able to transport a double buggy, 2 travel cots and all the other paraphernalia you take with you when traveling with babies. The seats are high up meaning that you don't have to bend to strap babies/children into car seats and the rear doors slide open meaning that all the stress of slamming the doors into neighbouring cars is removed when getting children in and out of the car in car parks.
(The children modelling the marvellous boot space the Citreon Bellingo has to offer on a camp trip last year).
More recent research has shown it to be fairly economical - certainly against larger family cars / MPVs.
So - we have decided that rather than buy another old banger we will bite the bullet and buy a car a couple of years old which will become our main family car. Because of the above, the Citreon Bellingo or its counterparts, the Fiat Doplo or the Peugot Partner are the favoured car which even when a few years old are cheaper than traditional family cars.
The other element to our search is that these makes also do a 7 seat version which when we have looked is likely to take us slightly over the budget we have set for the car. We are now debating the value of those 2 extra seats. My feeling is that as the children are getting older it might be nice if they can bring friends along on family outings / birthday trips etc. Also, my mother-in-law no longer drives and it would be nice to be able to take her out with us from time to time.
Mmmmm.....what to do?
If anyone has any thoughts on the value of a 7 seat family car when you have 3 children I'd be really grateful to receive it. This will be the biggest purchase we make for some years to come and I really want to get it right - so any help would be appreciated.
In the meantime.....pray it doesn't rain!