Best cars for dogs and babies

Looking for a car that works well for your dog and baby? You’d be barking mad to miss out on these tot choices

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Nov 30, 2021

You may have read our guide to the best cars for dogs and the best cars for babies, but what if you're looking for a car that caters just as well for your child as your furry friend? In other words, what’s the best car for transporting dogs and babies?

Help is at hand, because we’ve pulled together a list of the best cars for carrying canines and kids. These cars combine the safety and convenience you require for your baby, with the practicality and flexibility you need for your dog.

What sort of things should you be looking for when searching for a child- and dog-friendly used car on BuyaCar? A wide boot opening and low load lip to make things easier for your dog to jump into the back and for when you’re loading a pushchair or buggy can be handy. Rear doors with wide openings, Isofix points, seats you can slide forward and back, and a passenger airbag deactivation switch for when your baby is travelling up front are also useful.

Naturally, you’ll want exceptional value for money, which is where BuyaCar deals come in. The cars we’ve chosen could be yours for less than £200* per month on PCP finance, which means you’ll have more money to spend on dog treats and days out with your baby.

Best cars for dogs and babies

1. Hyundai i10

Hyundai i10 front three quarters view

The Hyundai i10 is one of the most practical city cars you can buy, so it’s perfect if you’re after something small and inexpensive. Go for a relatively new one and you can relax in the knowledge that your precious little one will be out of nappies and at school before the five-year unlimited mileage warranty expires. We’re talking about your baby, obviously.

Introduced in 2020, the current i10 is the best of the breed. Smart styling to impress the other parents in the toddler group car park, the latest tech and a boot large enough for most dogs are just some of its highlights. A 252-litre boot is good for this size of car and is just 40 litres shy of the larger and more expensive Ford Fiesta.

It’s a full-five seater, which gives your family plenty of growing room, while all trim levels get a passenger airbag deactivation switch for when you’re carrying your baby in the front. Opt for the SE Connect model and above for an eight-inch touchscreen media system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

HYUNDAI I10 BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Skoda Fabia Estate

Skoda Fabia Estate side view

This could be the best small car for dogs and babies. We say ‘small’, but you’ll soon discover that the Skoda Fabia Estate isn’t lacking in interior space. In fact, it’s more spacious and practical than some significantly larger cars.

Take the boot, which offers 530 litres of dog and pushchair space with the rear seats in place, which is nearly as much as you’ll find in the much larger Ford Mondeo. It gets better, because there’s a huge 1,395 litres of space to play with when the rear seats are lowered, so your dog could get plenty of exercise before it starts its walk!

The impressive practicality extends to the number of storage compartments throughout the cabin, including large door bins for your baby paraphernalia and an umbrella under the passenger seat. Perfect for keeping your baby (or dog!) dry when leaving the car.

SKODA FABIA BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Ford Puma

The Ford Puma is one of the newest compact SUVs on the block, but it’s arguably one of the best. It’s based on the Ford Fiesta but feels considerably larger, with a boot that’s actually bigger than a Ford Focus hatchback. It’s also great fun to drive, although you’ll need to ensure that your baby on board doesn’t suffer from car sickness before driving with too much enthusiasm.

There’s virtually no loading lip, which will come in handy when you’re sticking a heavy pushchair in the boot, while the adjustable floor means that you can tailor the boot height to suit your dog. Some versions even come with a remote boot opening; simply wave your foot under the bumper to raise the tailgate. Maybe you can train your dog to do it for you.

As a bonus, you get what Ford calls a ‘Megabox’ under the boot floor. It’s a waterproof and hard-wearing storage box that’s perfect for storing mucky boots or for giving your dog a quick wash after a muddy walk. It could also double up as a bin for dirty nappies. Handy.

MORE DETAILS ON THE FORD PUMA

4. Land Rover Discovery

The current Land Rover Discovery is one of the best cars for families and one of the best SUVs for dogs, so its appearance on a list of cars for dogs and babies was guaranteed. It’s not the cheapest family SUV, but if you need a capable and spacious 4x4, you won’t find anything better.

There are five Isofix points for safely mounting child seats: one in the front, two in the middle and two in the back row, so it’s perfect for growing families. If it’s just you and your baby, stick a child seat in the front and lower all five rear seats to reveal an enormous 2,406 litres of boot space. Even folding just one seat creates a load area of 698 litres, which is what you can expect to find in a large estate car.

Your canine companion can live a dog’s life courtesy of Land Rover’s pet packs, too. Choose from accessories such as a spill-resistant water bowl, access ramp for easy access, foldable pet carriers, tailored quilt load liner and portable shower. We’ve stayed in hotel rooms that were less luxurious.

LAND ROVER DISCOVERY BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Vauxhall Combo Life

The Combo Life is related to the Peugeot Rifter and Citroen Berlingo, but because the Vauxhall tends to be cheaper, you will get more for your money here. Whether you opt for the five-seater or seven-seater version, you’ll love this people carrier for its workmanlike practicality and flexibility.

All versions come with three Isofix points as standard, so you can fit three child seats along the middle row (or back row if you opt for the five-seater Combo Life). The twin sliding rear doors provide easy access to the rear cabin, with up to 2,693 litres of luggage capacity available in the XL version - that's a gigantic amount of room for even a pack of Great Danes.

It gets better, because there are 27 storage compartments throughout the cabin, from cup holders to a locker hidden beneath the rear footwell. The incredibly low loading lip means there’s only a small step for your dog to jump into the car, while the large tailgate doubles up as a canopy if you need to make an emergency nappy change on the move or unload the car in the rain.

VAUXHALL COMBO LIFE BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Volvo V90

Short of buying a van, nothing can top a large estate car for practicality. Surprisingly for a Volvo, the V90 isn’t the most spacious estate car of this size, but you’d need a pack of wolves to require a much larger boot. A wide opening and low loading lip combine to make it easy for your pooch to jump aboard.

An electric tailgate comes as standard, as does one of the most stylish and sophisticated interiors of any car at any price. The dashboard is dominated by a large, tablet-style touchscreen media system and the seats are designed to while away the hours after a tiring day at a theme park or dog show - all in complete comfort.

Take further comfort in the fact that the Volvo V90 is one of the safest cars in the world, with a suite of driver assistance systems available if you want even more protection. The V90 was an expensive car when new, but a used example could be yours for the price of a new Ford Fiesta.

VOLVO V90 BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Volkswagen Amarok

Volkswagen Amarok front three quarters view

You might think it odd that we’re recommending a vehicle from our vans section, but hear us out. Today’s pick-ups are closer to the modern breed of SUVs than they are to commercial vehicles, which is why the VW Amarok is such a great car for dogs and babies.

You’d be forgiven for thinking you’re in a VW Golf or Tiguan when you’re behind the wheel of an Amarok, especially if you opt for one of the plush trim levels. A Trendline model should have enough toys for you, but the Highline features the likes of heated leather seats, rear privacy glass and a reversing camera for a greater sense of luxury.

What’s great is that you can separate the ‘dog area’ from the cabin. Stick an appropriate canopy on the back and you can create a mobile kennel to keep muddy footprints and walking boots away from the posh interior. It’s up to you to protect the seats from baby milk and nappy accidents, though.

VOLKSWAGEN AMAROK BUYERS' GUIDE

8. BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

If all this talk of practicality, flexibility and workmanlike interiors is making you cry into your Cow & Gate formula, there is an alternative. It’s called the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, and it has nothing to do with gran or grandad.

It’s essentially a more practical version of the beautiful BMW 4 Series Coupe, which means you can have your Farley’s Rusk and eat it. Other rusks are available. Not only do you get a couple of extra doors, there’s also a large tailgate at the back, which is handy for loading pushchairs and buggies. Crucially, it means your dog can enjoy the 4 Series Coupe experience.

The 480-litre boot is roughly the same size as you’ll find in a family SUV or large hatchback, but you can increase the capacity to a large 1,300 litres by lowering the rear seats. We’re confident your dog and baby will appreciate the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s smart styling and premium interior, too.

BMW 4 SERIES GRAN COUPE BUYERS' GUIDE

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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