When your child is a teenager, they start thinking about driving. You of course can’t believe your precious little baby is now old enough to drive. Your child is probably asking about getting a car or hinting at the kind of car they want. Some parents will buy their child their first car. Some will offer to pay half or match the amount their child saves. Others will give the responsibility to their child. There is no right or wrong answer. Everyone’s finances are different, everyone’s situation is different. It doesn’t reflect on your parenting or how much you love your child. Regardless of how your teen is getting a car, there are some things you need to consider.
Your most important concern is probably safety. Make sure you are looking at sound cars. You don’t want a car that constantly is breaking down or causes problems. Get the car checked out if you are purchasing from a private person.
Check out reputable dealers with a good selection with used cars. Check out online reviews from sites other than the dealers. The dealer may only approve good reviews. Check out their social media and see if there are any complaints and how they handle them.
Stay away from really old cars. They don’t have to be new but a car that is twenty years old is not going to last as long. Remember you get what you pay for. Hopefully their first car will run for a long time.
Remember that it is a first car. Don’t go overboard buying an expensive new car. We hope that they don’t get in any accidents, but it does happen.
Purchase the proper insurance and have them be responsible for it.
Talk to them about safety and responsibility. Make sure they are mature enough to have their own car.
Remind them that a car is a tool to get them places, not a status symbol. Safety is more important than appearance.
Have a budget or a price that you feel comfortable paying monthly. Don’t get something you can’t afford. Make sure they understand that they may have to pay monthly and actually pay it. You will probably be financially responsible as well.
Be mindful about the number of miles on the car you are looking at. Is the car known for being long lasting and reliable?
Find out how many miles per gallon the car will get, gas guzzlers are not great for teens.
Sedans are great first cars because they are considered family cars. Stay away from convertibles and tiny cars which can be less safe in an accident.
Test drive the car, avoid buying cars online, off Craigslist or sight unseen. Even though the owner says it’s a great car, check it out and make sure. Don’t take their word for it.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That is true for cars and pretty much anything.
Be present with your child when they are looking at cars. Be part of the process even if they are paying for it themselves. Ask questions and make sure they are getting a good deal. It may annoy them but they are still a minor and need your guidance and help. It really is a big decision and a big purchase.
I hope these tips help you when your child is going to buy a car and that they drive very safely.
Author Note: Sheila is the owner/editor of the popular blog SheilaCakes. A blog that covers everything from parenting, to family travel tips. Follow her blog to learn more helpful tips.