Five “Must Haves” for Our Second Vehicle


The search for a second vehicle has begun. I never thought we would be looking at a second car before we had children or bought a house. Like most life changes, sometimes, we are forced to compromise. In this case, it’s highly likely that we may both have to drive to our respective offices (mine in the city and his in Redwood City) in the coming months and one of us will have to chauffeur our children to their respective schools. With opposite commutes, having a second vehicle is a necessity. Since we have a little more time to shop for this second car, I’ve put together a list of my top five “must-haves” for our second vehicle, because after six years with our beloved Honda CR-V, we need a few upgrades.

Top five “must-haves” for our second vehicle

  1. A larger vehicle In our current vehicle, our family fits perfectly, even with a trunk full of gear. This also means we cannot accommodate anyone else. With the girls’ car seats, that middle seat is exceptionally tiny. For our second vehicle, it would be nice to have a third row to accommodate family members, friends, and more gear. Further, as the girls grow, they will appreciate the extra legroom that a larger vehicle affords. Comfort can never be underrated.
  2. Leather upholstery While fabric upholstery stays cool year-round and is not prone to cracking and shriveling like leather, fabric upholstery also stains easily and is harder to clean. We know this too well with our current vehicle. Much of the snow white upholstery has turned a dirty grey, from years of wear and tear. I look forward to quick wipes with a dry towel or baby wipe (baby wipes are gentler on car upholstery than sanitizing wipes) to keep our second vehicle cleaner and neater.
  3. Front-wheel drive It seems like all the vehicles we have looked at so far have all-wheel drive. Given all the city and freeway driving we do, all-wheel drive is not a feature we would use very often. We don’t do off-road driving or drive through snow, sand, or other types of terrain. Why pay more and use more gas for a feature we hardly use in our daily lives? All-wheel drive is nice to have, but definitely unnecessary.
  4. Anything but a neutral paint color Our daughter Ilse commented that she wanted a two-tone colored car for our second vehicle. Gotta love her vision! I totally get what she means. Ilse wants a vehicle color that stands out. We are right there with her. We would love a primary blue or a bright red, but vehicle availability may dictate this “want.” I will compromise with white, because it’s bright.
  5. In-city service stations Like most aspects of living in San Francisco or any major city for that matter, convenience is king. If my vehicle needs to be serviced, having a service station in the city would be most convenient. We shouldn’t have to leave the city to change the oil or replace a mirror.

Armed with these “must-haves” in mind, the hunt for our second vehicle continues. It will be exciting to see what vehicle we end up buying and if it will meet all our “must-haves.” Our biggest compromise to having a second vehicle is not having a dedicated parking spot for it. Nevertheless, having a second vehicle available to us will make that compromise worthwhile.

If you own two vehicles, what criteria was important to you?

Previous articleAn Ode to School Uniforms
Next articleWhen Every Inch of Space Counts, Even in the Garage
Jeanne is a married, full-time working mom with an MBA in Marketing from Golden Gate University and BA in Communications from San Francisco State University. She is an Associate Director of Sales for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and loves that her career enables her to promote the city she loves. Jeanne and her husband Daniel live in San Francisco with their two daughters, Ilse and Alice. When Jeanne is not working, writing, or volunteering at Ilse's school, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and cooking from her collection of cookbooks (70 and growing) while sipping Hudson Bay Bourbon. Follow her adventures on Instagram.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here