A Guide to Helping Your Teen Buy Their First Car

How to help your teen to buy their first car?

teen's first car

Photo by Elijah O’Donnell

Your teenager is ready for a major rite of passage. It’s time to get a car. You are all filled with anticipation. Being able to drive means having more freedom to see friends, travel, and work. It’s an important step toward adulthood. This is your chance to offer your child guidance as you get ready to purchase the right car for your son or daughter. Whether you are paying a portion of the expenses or your teen has earned the money for a set of wheels, you want the first car to be a practical choice.

Reach quality cars for your teen

Safety has to be your priority. Find out which cars rank at the top of consumer reports when it comes to safety. You should also look at what is available in your area that fits your budget. Gas mileage is important. You also need to consider insurance. A car that has safety features can result in breaks on your insurance premium. Your insurance will be higher on a vehicle for a new driver. Your teen can take a driver’s education course to lower insurance costs as well.

Help your teen to choose a sensible car

It can be tempting for a young driver to choose a flashy or fast car. It is best to find a more practical vehicle for an inexperienced driver. A teen needs reliable transportation. Consider something on a smaller scale that will not have enough room for everyone from school. Steer clear of red cars. Statistics have shown they are involved in more accidents than other cars. Look for vehicles that are no more than ten years old.

Set a sensible budget for your teen’s first car

You need to be selective when buying a car for a teen. Remember that your son or daughter is inexperienced. Accidents are more likely to happen in this young age group. You can find excellent used cars which are the best option for new drivers. You’ll be able to find a car at a more affordable price when it has been previously owned. Determine what price range is acceptable before you start shopping. You should also choose a vehicle that suits your teen’s needs. A more compact car could be best for someone who isn’t ready to maneuver a large vehicle. Consider a truck if your teen plans on doing work that will involve transporting equipment or supplies.

Make sure the car is inspected thoroughly before making any purchases

You should always take a potential vehicle for a test drive. You and your son or daughter should each take turns behind the wheel. Bring someone along who is knowledgeable about cars on the day of the test drive. Ask for any maintenance records that are available. You can also request that a mechanic come with you to inspect the car. Otherwise, the owner can bring the car to the auto shop of your choosing to have it evaluated. You can also run the vehicle information number through a database to determine if the car has been in any accidents.

Make sure you have a bill of sale

Once you finally make a decision about a car with your teen, ask for a bill of sale that includes all details of the transaction. If you purchase a car from a dealership, look for a car that has been certified by auto technicians. That means it has its seal of approval. You will also have a 30-day warranty, providing your teenager with some protection if there are any problems with the car. Private sales do not offer you the same option.

Have clear expectations for your teen driver

It will be a thrill when your teen driver brings home his or her first car. Set a curfew. Ask your teen to contribute to insurance and fuel costs. Make it clear the car will be taken away if driving privileges are abused. Set a limit on how many others can be in the car with your teen. In the beginning, you may insist that your son or daughter drives alone. There should be no distractions, such as texting or eating while driving. Expect your teen to maintain the car with regular trips to the car wash and annual tune-ups. Your precautions can help your teen to get the most out of his or her first ride.

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