For many parents, buying their teen’s first car is both a proud and nerve-wracking moment. On the one hand, it’s a sign that your child is growing up and becoming more independent. On the other hand, it can be a costly investment, and you want to ensure that your teen will be safe and responsible on the road. If you’re getting ready to buy your teen’s first car, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
1. Set a Budget
Before you start shopping for your teen’s first car, it’s important to set a budget. How much can you afford to spend? Keep in mind that you’ll also need to pay for gas, insurance, and maintenance. Once you have a budget in mind, start looking for cars that fit your price range. Have your teen help with the research so they can learn about the different options available to them. Don’t forget to also factor in the cost of registration and taxes. These can add up quickly, so it’s important to be aware of them from the start. Remember, you don’t have to budget for a brand-new car. There are plenty of great used cars out there that would be perfect for your teen.
2. Research Particular Models
Now that you have a budget in mind, it’s time to start researching particular models. What kind of car does your teen want? Have them make a list of their top three choices. Once you’ve narrowed the options, start reading reviews and doing comparison shopping. It’s important to find a car that’s safe, reliable, and affordable. Also, double-check if there have been any recalls for the same model in other countries. This is important because, according to the New York Times, vehicle makers in the U.S. have failed to recall vehicles that had been recalled abroad.
Another thing to keep in mind is the fuel efficiency of the car. If your teen does a lot of driving, you’ll want to find a car that doesn’t guzzle gas. This will help save you money in the long run.
3. Don’t Compromise on Safety
According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, automobile accidents are the leading cause of death among individuals aged 1 to 54 in the United States. This is why it’s so important to find a safe car for your teen. Look for features like airbags, antilock brakes, and electronic stability control. These are all great safety features that can help reduce the risk of an accident and, in the event of an accident, help protect your teen.
Make sure to also have a conversation with your teen about safe driving habits. They should know the importance of wearing a seatbelt, obeying the speed limit, and avoiding distracted driving. You can even enroll them in a defensive driving course to give them an extra edge on safety.
4. Consider the Insurance Cost
According to Bankrate, about 215 million drivers in the United States have car insurance. This shows just how important it is to have insurance when you own a car. When you’re shopping for your teen’s first car, be sure to consider the cost of insurance. Some cars are more expensive to insure than others. For example, a sports car will most likely have a higher insurance premium than a sedan.
You’ll also want to consider the type of coverage you need. Should you get comprehensive or collision coverage? What about liability insurance? Talk to your insurance agent about the different options available and get quotes for each car you’re considering. This way, you’ll know exactly how much it will cost to insure the car before you make a purchase.
5. Get the Car Inspected
Whether you’re buying a new or used car, it’s always a good idea to have it inspected by a mechanic. This way, you can be sure that there are no hidden problems that could end up costing you a lot of money later on.
If you’re buying a used car, it’s also a good idea to get a history report. This will tell you if the car has been in any accidents or had any other major problems. It’s important to be aware of these things before you make a purchase.
Buying a teen their first car is a big parenting moment. But it doesn’t have to be stressful. Just keep these tips in mind and you’ll be sure to find the perfect car for them.