As the summer holidays have come to an end and a nation of schoolchildren pack their pencil cases, Motors.co.uk has revealed the top cars for the school run – and the buying habits of parents looking for the perfect family vehicle.
The leading innovation-led car search network has conducted a ‘back to school’ survey among motorists. Findings show crossovers are the favoured school run mode of transport, as parents opt for a spacious, resilient and practical ride.
The Nissan Qashqai was once again voted the preferred car for the daily journey to school, with almost a quarter of respondents putting it in first place for the second consecutive year. This was closely followed by the Honda CR-V, up 13% from last year to 20%. The Ford Fiesta hatchback, Ford C Max MPV and Skoda Octavia estate made up the top five.
The stats tie-in with Motors.co.uk’s latest used car sales trend data, ‘What’s Hot?’, which reveals demand for MPVs is also on the increase for the new term. While the Vauxhall Zafira and Mariva took top spots for the category, Ford remains a popular choice, with C-Max, S-Max and Galaxy featuring in the top five.
Drivers said the most important factor in the vehicle selection process was how economic fuel and running costs were (32%), followed by age and mileage (19%), number of seats (11%) and safety (10%). Interestingly, how the car handles on the road was deemed to be one of the least important features, with only 6% of respondents choosing this as a decisive factor. Similarly, the provision of child safety features was only selected by 3% and ease of access by 2% as the most important factor in deciding what to buy.
And, it seems many respondents are influenced by family members when it comes to choosing the right vehicle – with 48% saying their car purchase is influenced by their partner and 23% by their children.
Dermot Kelleher, director of marketing and business intelligence at Motors.co.uk, said: “It is no surprise that cross-overs are popular among families who are looking for a comfortable, practical vehicle. However, it was interesting that for a family audience monthly running costs are by far the most important factors when deciding what to buy, well ahead of how the car handles or safety features such as Isofix. It shows there’s a role for dealers to play in communicating this value to families looking for their next vehicle.”
The survey also revealed that if money was no object Land Rovers would be the school run rides of choice, with the Range Rover model proving most popular. Other wish list makes were BMW X5 and X6 models and the Audi Q7.