Mothers have a hard enough time as it is trying to shuffle kids to school, activities, and home on any given day. Some of us wish we could make the trip more enjoyable with some choice mod-cons. But sometimes these costly “gadgets” only improve the dealer’s bottom line, giving the driver nothing in return. If you’re a mother in the market for a new car, we’ve put together a list of the five family car features you should definitely not waste your money on.
1. LED Day Lights
You see it a lot these days – little rows of LED lights on cars…lit up during the day. Though it might give a sporty European number a stylish “eyebrow” sparkle, it doesn’t too much on a rough-and- tumble SUV or large sedan. Though people in Scandinavian countries have to drive with their headlights on all the time, all year round – it makes sense up there, since half the year is dark! Even so, the costs of LEDs greatly outweigh any potential benefit.
2. Heads-up display
A heads up display is a technology commonly found in fighter jets. The public might catch a glimpse of how they operate in a cheesy action flick, by projecting messages on to the windshield glass in front of the pilot. These extras can cost thousands when a dashboard speedo/cluster that comes installed free does the job just as well.
3. Heated seating
Imagine if you could come out of the cold into a nice toasty warm car. Well, dream on! Heated seating sounds great in theory – but how often do you drive long enough in cold weather to make any use of them? In most places around Australia, heated seating would be suitable for about three months out of the year. Then you’d have to take decent enough trips in very cold weather to feel any benefits. An “extra” doesn’t give you any bonus.
4. In-car DVD/streaming entertainment
In the age of Netflix and Blu-Ray, why would you spend money on a new DVD player? Going further, why would you spend that money on one for your car? Though it might sound like a godsend for mothers, installing back seat DVD or streaming screens is just an unnecessary expense. In fact, it’s better served by something you already have. Buying an iPad or tablet can keep kids entertained, and they can take it back inside the house once the trip is over.
5. Zero-percent loans
Many dealers will sell this as a “feature”, selling you on the zero-percent interest in the car loan. However, this can actually waste your money over the long-term. Many zero-percent loans trap car owners into paying above the retail price for their car over the five-year term. That’s because dealers sell zero-percent loan cars at the advertised price, locking you out of negotiating a better deal (with all the extras above tossed out, too.)