Car Buying 101 with Kids – 5 tips for an easier car buying experience

Car Buying 101 with Kids – 5 tips for an easier car buying experience. Children. Family. Kids.
How bad could car shopping be with these three princesses???

Thinking of going car shopping with the kids?

Tip 1 – Don’t Do It!!

We recently have been in the market for a newer vehicle and this mom has spent hours online doing research and finding specific cars in the area that might be worth taking a look at. We’ve spent several nights in the last week looking into said vehicles.

The kids think it is so exciting to jump around in a new car and check things out. Their eager faces light up and beg for us to buy that car! Until we go see the next one and they do the exact same thing. Over and over and over again. They don’t care what we buy… they just want to play around inside and mess with all the dials and gadgets.

sunroof
Checking out the sunroof while little sis tries to close it

Tip 2 – Find a Babysitter

This seems obvious, right? But when you only plan to take a quick look at a car and are planning on hanging out at the dealership for 30 minutes or less, you can handle three kids, right?

Wrong!

Even the best plans don’t always get followed, so save yourself a headache and lot of wrestling with a toddler by finding a babysitter. As you know, kids don’t always listen. And neither do husbands!

Driving

Tip 3 – Always be Prepared

Prepared? Prepared for what? ANYTHING!

You never know what’s going to happen. On our latest trip to check out a car, I specifically told my husband that we were only going to look and that he could take it for a test drive. But we were not buying anything that night.

What happened?

Yeah, we bought a car that same night.

We were having some issues with our current car, which is why we decided to look for a newer model, and ended up trading it in right then.

I wasn’t prepared. And I am a prepper. I always plan ahead and rarely forget something essential. I like to think of all the contingencies. I didn’t even take anything with me other than my license!

Hanging out

Tip 4 – Bring Food

The dealership we went to was pretty good. They had a playroom with a tv, a few snacks and vending machines to get more snacks.

But when a 30-minute trip turns into a 5-hour ordeal…you might need more than a few crackers and granola bars.

So if you absolutely must bring your kids car shopping, bring some substantial food options with you.

Tip 5 – Seriously, leave your kids with a babysitter!

We really were only planning on looking at a car, not buying one. But I still should have found a babysitter.

When my husband test drove the car, he absolutely loved it and decided we should just take the plunge and buy it. So we did.

And an appointment that started at 4:15, people, did not finish until five.hours.later.

Our kids were awesome! There was not one tantrum or major fight among them. Which in itself is a miracle since a 10-minute stop at the grocery store usually produces worse behavior.

At times they got a bit rowdy, but overall they were amazing! And they got extra buttons for good behavior. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read about it here: How to survive (and thrive) during summer break with your kids).

The later it got in the evening, the less people were in the dealership and the more our kids took over the “waiting” room area. The problem was that the dealership only had one finance person working that day because they had a few out on vacation or sick leave, so it really should have taken only half the time.

But you’ve got to plan ahead. What should we have done? Given our commitment, put some money down and come back the next day to finish the paperwork, minus the three kids. But alas, hindsight is 20/20.

So what did our kids do to keep themselves entertained? They played with the toys, ate about 10 packages of crackers and granola bars that were offered in the waiting area, watched cartoons (once all the adults were gone) and danced and ran around like…well, kids (you can watch them here: Car Buying with Kids)

The next time you’re looking for a car and thinking it might be okay to take your kids with you, remember this…you never know what might happen!

 

 

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