3 under 3

Fun at the car yard

Posted on: November 8, 2010

Shopping for cars is not fun. I thought it would be fun, but it isn’t. We have been car shopping for two months now, both at home over the internet and, you know, physically, and it sucks. My main reason for wanting a new car, to begin with, was so that I could separate the kids (they currently sit across the back of our sedan), so that I wouldn’t have to put up with them tormenting each other constantly while we drive. Plus, once we turn Neave’s seat around to face forwards, the three seats won’t fit across the back unless we buy smaller ones. Since we have already spent about $1000 on car seats (one each for the kids and one spare), I do not want to spend a single cent more on them, and would rather buy a whole new car (for 30 times that price) that fits the damn seats we already have. Shut up, it makes perfect economic sense.

It was surprising to discover how few cars out there actually cater for families with three small children – especially since the laws have recently changed, meaning that children need to be secured to an anchor point until they are seven. Personally, I am happy about the law-change because I think it makes kids safer, but really it’s not very practical. If you have three kids, three years apart, you will have at least one year when all three kids need to be seated with anchor points. And if you are insane and have three kids in under three years, then you will have four years of trying to wrangle with seats, harnesses and anchor points for all three kids… Now show me a sedan in which this can be done, preferably without fuss.

A lot of our initial car shopping was done sans-kids, or at least sans the older two kids, until we used up all our babysitting credits with the grandparents. Also, Tom works on weekends quite often, so we started having take them with us during the week when Tom had time off. Really, taking three little ones to a car yard is just asking for trouble. And we knew that, but we did it anyway. They can’t help touching the cars. They can’t help hiding behind the cars. They can’t help climbing into the cars. They can’t help putting their muddy shoes onto the only bit of carpet inside the car that isn’t covered by plastic. They can’t help honking the horn. They can’t help spitting their lunch out onto the seat. They can’t help opening the doors really hard and denting the next car along. They can’t help kicking and screaming as you try to round them up and put them back into the double pram. They can’t help fighting when they’re finally back in the pram. They can’t help grabbing onto the mirrors of all the cars you pass as you try to get the hell out of the car yard before someone throws you out…

Luckily, most of the sales people who were actually brave enough to approach us were really very friendly and understanding. Or they tried very hard to be understanding, and didn’t wince too much as we damaged their cars. Some weren’t friendly at all, which is pretty stupid because only the very interested, very-serious-about-buying, customer would actually bring their family along to buy a family car.

One dealership in particular, who shall remain nameless (this isn’t an ad, after all), went to great lengths to accommodate and welcome us, and help us to entertain the troupe while we mucked around with car seats and measurements and test drives and asking millions of questions, and what-not.

And how did we repay them? We bought the damn car!

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1 Response to "Fun at the car yard"

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