Affordable vehicles perfect for back-to-school carpools

It’s almost time for school, which means trading in boogie boards and beach chairs for packed lunches and school books. For many parents, the start of school also means it’s time to organize carpools to save on gas and share the responsibility of driving the kids to school with other parents.

Kids tend to grow a lot during the summer, so plenty of drivers will want to think about buying bigger cars to make room for longer legs and bigger bottoms. CarGurus.com reports that prices for larger used vehicles saw the smallest increases among used vehicles in the past year, so parents who need to find a suitable vehicle with a bad credit car loan will have options.

“SUVs have lost some popularity points as of late, however the reality is that these vehicles are often the only fit for large families with busy kids and the associated carpooling responsibilities,” said CarGurus founder and CEO Langley Steinert. “If you are looking to upsize your car and save money, now is a good time to be shopping for used cars and specifically for SUVs, crossovers and minivans, which have not seen the dramatic price increases of many compact models.”

The 2008 Honda Pilot seats eight and, for just over $18,000, can be a great choice for parents who are car shopping on a budget. Edmunds.com states that the crossover has all the qualities that make minivans desirable – such as more seating and storage space – but they are wrapped up in an SUV package, so parents don’t have to worry about the dreaded “soccer mom” image that is so often associated with driving minivans. The Pilot boasts a powerful V6 engine, plenty of cabin space and received high safety ratings from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS).

However, some drivers may prefer the domestic, family appeal that surrounds minivans, in which case the Kia Sedona is a reliable option. It was named one of the IIHS’s Top Safety Picks in 2008. The minivan from that model year sells for around $12,600 on average, and the 2009 model can be found for roughly $14,200 according to the news source.