Friday, August 10, 2018
By CarKhabri Team
Buying Your Teenager’s First Used Car
When your son or daughter turns 16, chances are they’re going to start angling for a car. After all, getting a driver’s license is probably the biggest milestone in teenage life. And, once you’ve accepted that they’re really old enough to drive (where does the time go?), having another driver in the family can be a good thing.
Finally, Mom doesn’t have to be the only taxi! So, once it’s official and your teen has started studying for their driver’s test, it may be time to start looking for another car. Not sure where to start and what kind of cars to consider? Here are some ideas to get you on the right track.
Chat with Your Child
Once you have your budget squared away, have a sit-down with your kiddo and go over your expectations of him/her with this car. Explain that this car is going to be basic—for transportation purposes, nothing flashy. (Probably not their dream car.) The choice of car is ultimately up to you, but welcome his or her (reasonable) input in the decision. Go over how this car will be used. Only local driving? Only to commute to school or work? Be clear in what the driving rules are.
Next, you’ll need to discuss the financial aspect of car ownership. Will he need to contribute to the purchase of the car? Discuss who will be paying for car insurance and gas.
Every family is different, so this is something you’ll have to decide for yourself. But consider having your child contribute financially, even if it’s just a very small amount. It does help to give a burgeoning young adult a clearer sense of the responsibilities of car ownership—and a real glimpse at adulthood waiting just around the corner.
Now, it’s time to start car shopping. For most parents, used cars are the way to go, especially when you’re shopping for a first-time driver. Used vehicles are easier on the budget, and you can find great deals if you know where to look.
Other than price, most parents are focused on safety. Sports car, no. Big sedan, yes. The safer the car the better, especially for new drivers who need to perfect their skills. Find a car with front and side airbags, and stability control, if available. Opt for cars known for their safety features; for example, used Volkswagen cars are a top choice for many parents looking for safe vehicles, whereas a soft-top Jeep might be on your no-no list.
Test drive lots of makes and models that fall within your budget. Drive it on city streets and on the highway to get a feel for how it really handles. Four-cylinder cars are both better on gas and they make it harder to speed, both great features for your new driver. Don’t worry about small scratches or dings. Most used cars have them, and once your teen starts driving it, he or she is sure to add a few more (take a few deep breaths!). Plus, those dings may give you more room to negotiate a lower price.
Used Vs. New Vehicles
There is another option to consider before you make your purchase. Do your research and compare used and new costs of vehicles. If a new car is only a couple thousand dollars more and it’s within your budget, it might make more sense to buy yourself a new car, and give your teen your used car.
If the family car is a safe one, and you’re ready to upgrade, why not pass it down? In this case, your shopping expedition becomes all about the car you want!
Whichever car-buying road you decide to take, just make sure your teen is very aware of the expectations involved, and reinforce the importance of safety repeatedly with them. You’ll worry, no matter what, when they start driving solo, but knowing they are in a safe, reliable car will help you feel a little better about it.