With more and more types of car appealing to family car buyers, it's becoming easier to get hold of something spacious and safe - but harder and harder to choose which one to buy.
Many might still think the go-to family car is something like a Ford Mondeo - a practical car with space for five and a big boot. While the Mondeo remains a solid choice, there's so much more out there these days, with 4x4s and SUVs now offering low running costs and small cars offering a lot more space.
Cars like the Nissan Qashqai are all the rage at the moment, providing lots of interior space and a big boot thanks to the rugged body style, but with a range of engines designed to keep costs as low as possible.
Seven-seater MPVs might be necessary for some families, but they aren't heavy and thirsty like they used to be - the SEAT Alhambra, for example, is a great choice for large families trying to keep costs low.
You can even go for a car that can keep the driver entertained - the Mazda 6, for example, is great to drive but still has loads of practical features. Even the Ford B-MAX MPV is good fun for the driver - and the wide door opening means it's a easy to get in and out.
Makes sure you look carefully at the specification tables before you buy a new family car, however. Many entry-level models don't come with the best gadgets and technology as standard, so you'll need to make sure the model you buy has everything you need.
Going for a car with plenty of standard equipment is the best option for keeping costs down, especially if you're buying it as a company car.
Make sure you also take into account that the manufacturer's stated fuel economy claims aren't to be taken literally - on the road they'll often average much less. Take these figures as a guide - if two cars have 50mpg listed, then you can expect them to be similarly economical - even if neither actually touches that figure.
You can read all about each car in our best family cars list by clicking on the links to the left.