Before you decide to spring for a brand-new family car, take a moment to consider how you might bring your old car back to its former glory and possibly spruce it up to contend with its more contemporary counterparts.

Being a parent is a costly business, and you want to save money as much as possible wherever you can – a car upgrade being one of them. Bear in mind that upgrading the family car you already own can cost you significantly less than buying a new one, but make sure to compare the price of these tips that we’ll be going over today with the price of a new vehicle.

Chances are that you’re going to be pleasantly surprised. And besides, this is a great opportunity to teach your kids about the value of money when they ask you why you didn’t just buy a new car, so it’s kind of a win-win situation. All right, let’s dive right in and take a look at the five things you should consider when upgrading your family car.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Start with the safety features

First things first, always remember that the whole point of having a car is to safely reach point B from point A, not to get to your destination as fast as possible. It is imperative that you ensure your safety and the safety of your family and any other passengers at all times, so be sure to start with your car’s safety features.

Begin by inspecting the mechanical parts with your mechanic. If you have an older model that has seen its fair share of Australian roads, then chances are that you will need to upgrade the entire breaking system. Check the suspension as well, and make the mechanic run a thorough digital diagnostic. Next, consider upgrading the electronic and digital safety systems by adding parking cameras, sway control and lane warning, turning assistance, early warning systems for collisions, and other features that will make your drive safer.

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Choose your tech and gadgets

One of the main reasons why families choose to buy a brand-new car is because of the tech and built-in gadgets that come with the vehicle. These are mostly advanced entertainment systems that include surround-sound and various touchscreen HD displays, along with other nifty additions like a Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth and wireless technology, and more. Now, that’s all fine and dandy, but why shouldn’t you install all of these features by procuring the tech yourself?

Chances are that you will be able to find all of these gadgets and entertainment systems at a great discount at your local superstore, and if you have a handyman in your home who’s currently not working, you can have him install everything without wasting money. This is a great way to upgrade your car without breaking the proverbial bank, and it will give your partner something productive to do.

Photo by Manuel Mena on Unsplash

Give your car a personal touch

A big part of owning a family car is making it your own in every sense of the word. This is also one of the main reasons why you don’t want to part ways with it so easily, because you have so many wonderful memories tied to that car from your family road trips, or from way back when you and your significant other were dating. So, instead of throwing the thing away, give it a personal touch.

A great way to add more sentimental value to your car, especially when you upgrade it, is to choose cherished number plates with the combination of letters and numbers that matter to you, such as your kid’s birthday, the date when you and your spouse got married along with your initials, and the like. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate your relationship and your family, and give your car a personal touch as you change and upgrade it inside and out.

Photo by Spencer Davis on Unsplash

Upgrade the security systems

Up next on your list should be the car’s security features. Unfortunately, we live in uncertain times, and no matter how much the local authorities try to preserve the peace and keep their residents safe, the streets are becoming more dangerous each year. Older cars in particular are easy targets for savvy thieves and crooks, so make sure to add some effective security measures to banish stress and ensure peace of mind.

Start with a simple wheel lock – if all else fails, the lock will make it impossible to navigate the vehicle. Be sure to upgrade the door locks, and install an emergency system that will ring the authorities immediately in case of an unlawful entry. Finally, add a simple GPS device that will ensure you get your car back in the case that the thief manages to drive away.

Focus on the aesthetic details

Last but not least, it’s time to give your car an aesthetic makeover to make it truly feel like new. The best way to do this is to fix all the small dents, bumps, and bruises, and then give it a fresh coat of paint. Replace your old rims to give the exterior that beautiful up-scale shine as well. As for the interior, new seats and upholstery are easy to come by nowadays for cheap, so be sure to dig around online for a bit to find the best deals. Choose leather and wood for that luxe vibe, and have your mechanic accentuate certain lines and features with the colour used on the outside of the car to frame the whole design.

Photo by Cleyton Ewerton on Unsplash

Wrapping up

Buying a brand-new family car might be an enticing prospect, but before you sign up for that hefty loan, consider if you can bring your old family car up to par with the newer models. Use these tips to revamp your vehicle for less, and enjoy your old car that looks, runs, and feels like new.

How old is your current family car? What car would you love to buy next? Tell us in the comments below.

Main image: Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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  • Safe, reliable and check out service and maintenance costs including parts, especially if buying a European brand.


  • safety, safety, safety is the key


  • One should be looking for the latest safety innovations and if the car feels comfortable to drive. My new car [2 years old] has all the safety features needed these days, and it is just so comfortable to drive and handles really well. I doubt I’ll be looking for another car for quite a while especially when it has a 7 year warranty.


  • My car is only 4 years old but there’s only my youngest son and myself now. I love this car because my late husband helped me to decide if it was safe enough and easy to handle. All the above points are worth checking even if you don’t want or need to upgrade for ongoing safety.


  • My car is coming up to 10 years and I’m still very happy for it. Do I upgrade soon? I don’t want to just throw money at a newer car because… I don’t drive mine often, it’s still safe, and I don’t see the need to upgrade just yet. Will generally be a safety issue for me and I will always upgrade to a car with great safety options that looks good!!


  • So many helpful things to think about


  • Great tips. I wouldn’t waste money on personalised number plates but I would look at getting parking cameras.


  • When I was pregnant with my first we bought a top of the range CX9, demo model so it was significantly cheaper but only had 1000km on the clock. Came with all warranty and the safety features are amazing!

    We got the 7 seater so I could have the extra boot space with the back 2 seats folded down so I can fit the pram, bag and shopping.

    Best car ever!


  • Safety features are always my priority with a new car.


  • Wow, didn’t consider any of this. We didn’t get another car til the old one stopped going. And then we replaced it with a second hand one, no new vehicles ever owned

    • Same for us :) As long as it drives and is safe I’m happy ! Our aircon of the car broke 1,5 year ago; it’s cold in the winter and hot in the summer, but really we can survive that


  • AND make sure that the pram fits in the boot! We had lots of trouble with this, as a lot of boots were quite small, so you couldn’t fit groceries and your pram.


  • great article, we tend to focus on safety, uses and petrol cost


  • So baby things to think about. I’ve always driven small cars but will need to think of something bigger


  • I think the most important thing aside from safety and reliability is adequate seating. If you have 3 children then you really need to consider a 7 seater for those times that you need to transport a friend or relative.


  • We got a new car last year, 5 months before baby was born. Had to upgrade to fit the pram in lol!

    • Space for a pram and other items is always important. We always go for storage space as a feature in a car.


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