Your teenager put in the hours, studied for the test, and finally earned their driver’s license. Now, you find them asking to borrow your car all the time.
That’s when you realize how important is for your adolescent to own their first vehicle. It could be that they need a car to drive to and from school or even to a new job.
Given the circumstances, you admit that it is ideal for your teen driver to own a car and become a responsible driver.
For that reason, here are all the essential things to consider when buying your teen’s first car.
Look For Safety
The priority when helping your teenager buy a car is safety. Instead of focusing on size, fuel economy and repair costs, make sure the vehicle you buy is rated well by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for crash test safety.
Teens are more likely to be in an accident than you or any other person with more driving experience. Newer cars have a lot more built-in safety features like rear cameras and parking assistance.
These factors will help you narrow down your choices of what type of vehicle based on make and model to go for.
Teach your teen driver about safety and responsibility
Apart from buying your teen a car, your teenager could also learn more from your experience and knowledge.
Let them know that owning a car is a benefit that not many people can rely on, and stress the importance of traffic rules and safety while on the road.
Even after your teen gets their license, you should periodically go out driving with them and go over safety rules and key driving tips. Spend time with them and pay attention to any habit they have that could put them at risk.
It is imperative that your teenager knows when they can drive, who they can drive with, and what to expect from them once getting behind the wheel.
New or Used
Should you buy your teen a used car or a brand-new one? There are great arguments for both. You will want to spend time researching and considering both options.
When it comes to used vehicles, you may end up finding cheaper choices with lower insurance rates, whereas brand-new cars tend to reflect higher costs, mostly if the buyer is a young, novice driver.
However, used cars may come with mechanic or electrical issues making it even more expensive to repair.
You will also want to do some additional research on your choices based on popularity, market value, safety features, and maintenance costs.
A new car offers a wealth of new safety options plus a long warranty, so if anything goes wrong, it is covered.
New cars are more pricey though, and they cost more to insure, so that is a consideration to keep in mind beforehand.
Don’t Forget the Insurance
Many states in the U.S. require automobile insurance, so this must be factored in when buying a car. Newer cars cost more to insure, which makes used cars more appealing to drivers with limited budgets.
Insurance for teenagers can be costly as they are novice drivers and more likely to get into trouble.
Suggesting your teenager cover a portion of the insurance costs will help them grow into a mature, responsible adult who is more prone to look after themselves when solo driving.
Teach Responsibility of Ownership
One of the best ways to help your teen appreciate the privilege of having a car is to let them take full responsibility of the vehicle they own.
By sharing gas, maintenance, and insurance costs, teenagers will be able to experience how the real world works for adults.
This method helps a lot if trust appears to be an issue between parents and kids.
Finding the Most Reliable Cars
There are plenty of great websites that you could always visit to find out more about a particular car you are interested in buying for your teen. Remember that research is key.
If you are interested in a particular used vehicle, run a VIN check to access its accident and maintenance history report before making any decision.
Either you visit dealerships in town or a private seller, do some research in advance so you can come up with a list of reliable cars with high safety ratings for your teen.
The more you know about the make, model, and history of a vehicle, the better! Parenting is never easy but finding the right car for your teen makes a difference.