Teenagers have their minds on a lot of things, but at the top of the list for many of them is getting a car. Being able to drive is one of the first major steps they take towards independence, and while you might not be thrilled with the idea, it’s something that you can’t avoid f
With the fall semester well underway, the subject of cars is bound to rear its ugly head as a new crop of kids get their licenses and head off on the road. If you’re ready to help your kid get their first car, then there are some things you’ll need to consider too.
Help your kid get their first set of wheels with this guide to buying a car for your teen.
Make sure they’re really ready
Age isn’t always a sign of maturity, and if your kid isn’t mature enough to be on the road - don’t buy them a car. Help them understand the scale of responsibility that comes with driving, and encourage them to earn your trust to help them get on the road. Don’t underestimate a kid’s motivation to get behind the wheel, so you might find that they change their ways quite quickly for the chance to have their first car.
Don’t go for anything too flashy
While your kid might have some ideas on what they’d like their first car to be, ultimately the decision is yours as the one who’s buying the car. Giving them something too sporty or too expensive could end up being a mistake, so it’s better to get them something more affordable to help them get used to driving and the financial responsibility that comes with owning a car. Pay a visit to your local dealership to see if you can get a good deal. If your teenager wants to buy something more expensive than you have the budget for, perhaps they can contribute towards it by getting a job.
Teach them everything you know
Being a good driver comes from years of experience, and you can help your teen get that experience by sharing your wisdom. From showing them how to fix a tire to how to clean a car properly, they can soon learn everything that comes with owning a car to help them become more responsible. Even though they’ve passed their driver’s test, it helps to ride with them at the beginning to help them feel more confident on the road. With some basic car maintenance knowledge, you can help them look out for problems that could affect their car’s performance.
Let them take care of the rest
While you might be happy to buy the car, you should encourage your teen to cover the other expenses. Gas, insurance, and repairs are all elements that come with owning a car, and if you continue to shell out - they won’t learn anything about being responsible with their vehicle. Make it clear to your teen that they need to find ways to pay for repairs, damage, etc. and they’ll soon start paying closer attention to the road. Why not teach them some DIY car care to help them fix minor problems themselves?
The decision of whether or not to buy your teen a car is a tricky one, but with some honest and open discussions, you can come to a solution that works for you both.