Super-safe family cars for £350 per month

  • Top-scoring family cars for occupant safety
  • All offer great protection for those in the rear
  • Available from as little as £179 per month

Cargo doesn’t come much more precious than your children, but do you know how safe your car is for those in the back seats as well as the front? We’ve rounded up some of the safest new cars for rear-seat passengers that are available for less than £350 per month (with a £5,000 deposit).

Crash test body EuroNCAP puts the vast majority of new cars through their paces to assess just how safe they are – for pedestrians and those in the back plus driver and passenger. All the models below aced the test for smaller passengers in the rear, as well as those up front – so you can be sure there are few safer places for your offspring.

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1) Volkswagen Touran – £338/month

So family oriented is this seven-seater VW Touran that it comes with the title “SE Family”. This means you get handy details like electrically activated child locks, rear sunblinds, a panoramic sunroof, an electronic voice amplification function for the driver – perfect for keeping misbehaving passengers under control – plus automatic emergency low-speed braking.

You will have to dig deep to put a Touran on the drive, however, with monthly payments standing at £338 per month, even spread over four years. APR charges are on the high side, so this may be a good car to hand back at the end of the contract, as you’ll have paid more than £4,000 in interest if you buy the car when the scheme finishes.

Finance offer: Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI 115 SE Family*

Child safety score: 89 percent

Parkers star rating: 4.0 stars

Monthly cost: £337.69 (47 payments)

Deposit: £5,000

Deposit contribution: £0

APR: 6.5 percent

Total amount payable by customer: £30,814.73

Cash price: £26,745

Mileage allowance: 10,000 miles per year

Volkswagen Touran review

View the latest Volkswagen Touran cars for sale

 

2) BMW X1 – £335/month

If you’d prefer to have an off-roader rather than a people-carrier – without jeopardising the safety of passengers in the rear seats – the BMW X1 is very nearly as safe as the Touran. In fact, it’s even safer for those in the front. 

Despite being nearly £4,000 pricier for cash buyers, finance costs for the BMW are actually just a bit lower (again over four years with a £5,000 deposit), though you’ll pay more overall if you buy the X1 at the end of the contract. Under the bonnet is a reasonably powerful diesel engine that should prove pretty economical for the size of car, too.

Finance offer: BMW X1 sDrive 18d M Sport*

Child safety score: 87 percent

Parkers star rating: 4.5 stars

Monthly cost: £335.40 (47 payments)

Deposit: £5,000

Deposit contribution: £0

APR: 4.9 percent

Total amount payable by customer: £34,193.03

Cash price: £30,440

Mileage allowance: 10,000 miles per year

BMW X1 review

View the latest BMW X1 cars for sale

 

3) Audi A4 Avant – £351/month

In Avant estate form the A4 is more than practical enough for most families, while keeping rear-seat passengers super-safe. It may cost substantially more than the BMW and VW above, but it is still worth so much at the end of the contract that monthly payments work out smaller and you can just about get a three-year contract in budget.

This means that with the A4 you can afford to swap the car after three years rather than four if you fancy a change. With a potent but economical petrol engine under the bonnet and sporty styling details in S Line form, however, the A4 Avant would also make a good car to buy at the end of the contract.

Finance offer: Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TFSI S tronic S Line*

Child safety score: 87 percent

Parkers star rating: 4.5 stars

Monthly cost: £350.91 (35 payments)

Deposit: £5,000

Deposit contribution: £2,500

APR: 3.9 percent

Total amount payable by customer: £33,384.85

Cash price: £33,480

Mileage allowance: 10,000 miles per year

Audi A4 Avant review

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4) Renault Megane - £154/month

If you’re on a tighter budget, however, less than half of the monthly cost of the A4 above could get you into a Renault Megane. This may be a smaller car, but it doesn’t skimp on safety, with the same rear passenger score as the Audi. 

Another similarity is that the Megane works out equally good value if you buy it at the end of the contract; do so and it’ll have cost less overall than if you paid the list price up front.

Finance offer: Renault Megane Dynamique Nav TCe 130*

Child safety score: 87 percent

Parkers star rating: 4.0 stars

Monthly cost: £154 (36 payments)

Deposit: £5,000

Deposit contribution: £1,750

APR: 4.1 percent

Total amount payable by customer: £17,492

Cash price: £18,100

Mileage allowance: 6,000 miles per year

Renault Megane review

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5) Ford S-Max - £350/month

Those craving the largest possible car with the highest safety score will want to get their hands on the Ford S-Max and its sister model, the Galaxy. Measuring in at a size above the seven-seat Volkswagen Touran, the Fords should cope with children of all ages, with three usable rows of seats being a major selling point.

Prices are on the high side, however, with the entry-level 150hp 2.0-litre diesel model just sneaking under the £350-per-month mark. The S-Max is a well thought-out car, though, so you shouldn’t feel short changed – especially as interest charges are less than half that of the Touran.

Finance offer: Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCI 150 Zetec*

Child safety score: 87 percent

Parkers star rating: 4.5 stars

Monthly cost: £349.84 (36 payments)

Deposit: £5,000

Deposit contribution: £0

APR: 2.9 percent

Total amount payable by customer: £28,821.24

Cash price: £27,345

Mileage allowance: 9,000 miles per year

Ford S-Max review

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6) Kia Optima Sportswagon - £268/month

Impressing in the value stakes is the Optima Sportswagon estate. Despite a suitably punchy diesel engine, a relatively long list of standard kit and the requisite safety credentials, this Kia estate proves very good value at less than £270 per month on a three-year contract (with £5,000 deposit).

Space for five and a large boot means that this Kia should do just as good a job of ferrying a family around as the Audi A4 above, but for a much palatable price. Its frugal diesel engine also means that the Kia should pip the petrol-powered Audi on running costs too.

Finance offer: Kia Optima Sportswagon 1.7 2*

Child safety score: 86 percent

Parkers star rating: 3.5 stars

Monthly cost: £267.93 (36 payments)

Deposit: £5,000

Deposit contribution: £500

APR: 4.9 percent

Total amount payable by customer: £25,107.98

Cash price: £23,495

Mileage allowance: 10,000 miles per year

Kia Optima Sportswagon review

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7) Toyota Avensis Touring Sports - £222/month

The bland Toyota Avensis Tourer may prove practically invisible in the school car park, but if safety, practicality, value and reliability are top of your shopping list, you can’t do much better. 

Monthly payments for an entry-level diesel model are reasonably low at £222 per month on a three-year contract and a £1,000 deposit contribution from Toyota makes it good value whether you hand it back at the end of the term or buy it outright. Along with the Honda Jazz below, it’s also the safest car in our round-up for those in the front row.

Finance offer: Toyota Avensis Touring Sports 1.6D Active*

Child safety score: 85 percent

Parkers star rating: 3.5 stars

Monthly cost: £221.52 (36 payments)

Deposit: £5,000

Deposit contribution: £1,000

APR: 4.9 percent

Total amount payable by customer: £20,827.22

Cash price: £20,190

Mileage allowance: 10,000 miles per year

Toyota Avensis Touring Sports review

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8) Honda Jazz - £179/month

The Honda Jazz manages the trick of being compact on the outside, huge on the inside and more importantly, very safe for passengers, whichever seat they’re in.

Another bonus is that the Jazz’s low price means with just over £3,000 in deposit, monthly payments come in at a meagre £179 and you can afford to change into a new car after just two years, should you fancy. If you’d rather keep the car, however, zero-percent APR means you’ll pay nothing in interest for the privilege of spreading the cost.

Finance offer: Honda Jazz 1.3 i-VTEC EX*

Child safety score: 85 percent

Parkers star rating: 4.5 stars

Monthly cost: £179 (24 payments)

Deposit: £3,196.35

Deposit contribution: £0

APR: 0.0 percent

Total amount payable by customer: £15,995

Cash price: £15,995

Mileage allowance: 10,000 miles per year

Honda Jazz review

View the latest Honda Jazz cars for sale

 

Looking to find out more about car finance? Take a look at the articles below:

Top seven-seater cars for £350 per month

How to choose between PCP and Hire Purchase

Finance a high-end car on a low-end budget with PCP

Top deals on family-friendly four-seater convertibles

Car finance: what is PCP?

*Deals are correct at time of publication. Everyone’s financial circumstances are different and credit is not always available – Parkers cannot recommend a deal for you specifically. These deals are indicative examples of some packages available this week.