The Dad-Mobile – Get the Most Out of Your Motor!

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Choosing the right car for your family can be a tough decision. Here’s what dads should look out for!

A recent study by Car Loan 4U has revealed exactly how much a family car suffers during its average six-year lifespan, detailing the full wear and tear of family adventures.

Your car isn’t just a means of transportation, it’s a member of the family. During its time with you, your four-wheeled friend will take a serious tour of duty – clocking up a whopping average of 59,814 miles!

So what should you take into consideration when buying your first dad-mobile?

Miles on the clock

The mega mileage we get through includes chauffeuring ourselves and loved ones on 66 day trips, 702 school runs and 30 visits to the doctors, dentists and/or hospital.

To get the best bang for your buck, you’ll need to consider petrol consumption. You definitely don’t want to be lumbered with a fuel guzzler! Choosing a car that gets good miles to the gallon could make you a substantial saving in the long run.

Wear and tear

Whatever car you choose, it will need to be durable. Make sure it’s built for the task at hand!

This isn’t going to be a car that you take out once a weekend for a leisurely drive; it’s going to be ridden hard every day for six years! More than that, your car is going to be exposed to one of the most destructive forces known to man: children.

The research also found that the average family wagon is likely to be on its last legs for a staggering 18 months before finally being replaced. Maybe it’s harder to let go of the old timer than expected? One thing’s for sure; you’ll need a motor that can go the extra mile…


During its six years loyal service to your family, your car will take up to a dozen dents and scratches. Annually, it will breakdown twice and require repairs totalling up to £250!

The model you choose siginificantly affects the rate of insurance you are likely to be offered, based on various factors including cost of repair, cost of parts, original value of the car when it was new, performance and security.

If value is a priority, you may want to consider the Kia Rio or the Vauxhall Corsa as both have proven to be extremely insurance-friendly.

Personal space

Your car sees your family at their best and their worst. Never is this truer than when on vacation!

Taking part in roughly 18 holidays and mini breaks during its six-year stint, your car will bear witness to 36 family arguments and cringe at the sound of “Are we there yet?!” 360 times from your pint-sized passengers.

Regardless, whether you’re trying to cram the car with as much luggage as possible or simply put some space between squabbling kids, you’re going to need a lot of room.

What’s on the market?

Ford are a regular favourite among families with the Focus and Mondeo models coming in pole position for most dads in the UK. If you’re looking for reliability, look no further!

If comfort is key, then the Audi A4 might be your best bet. A spacious interior means that everyone gets loads of space, which is also great for families with more than one child.

When it comes to reliable design, there are few cars that can match up to the VW Golf. Proven time and again to be one of the world’s safest cars, the Golf is perfect for the safety-conscious dad.

If you’re struggling to narrow down the contenders, you might want to consider the Vauxhall Astra. Performing above average in most categories, it really is a great all-rounder!