Buying your teenager their first car is a special moment for both of you. You are amazed at how much they have grown, enough to be responsible for a car. Your teen is equally excited at the prospect of owning a car. Not a car that they share once in a while with the family, but one that is solely theirs.
But for this special moment to last longer, there are various things that you should consider before and when buying a car for your teenager. Some have to do with your kid’s safety and preparedness to handle such a big responsibility, while others touch on your finances.
Let’s dive into each one of these factors:
1. Can You Afford to Buy a Car?
Purchasing a car is a crucial financial decision, especially because it comes with additional ongoing costs. This can eat deep into your pockets if you do not consider budgeting measures when buying your teen a car.
If it were up to your teen, they would purchase the “car of their dreams” because a friend has one or they saw it in an ad. They do not understand the financial repercussions, but you do. Make the right financial decision by buying a fairly affordable car, without compromising on safety.
Remember ongoing costs such as car insurance is more expensive for young drivers.
2. Is Your Teen Ready to Own a Car?
Obtaining a driver’s license does not automatically mean that your teen is ready to get behind the wheel. The teenager’s brain is not fully developed and tends to be guided by raging hormones. This makes it easier for them to make reckless decisions, including speeding, just for the thrill.
Statistics show that newly licensed teen drivers are 1.5 times more likely to cause an accident than older teenagers. Ensure that your kid fully understands the dangers of reckless driving before handing them the car keys.
Should your teenager get in a crash while driving, consider contacting a car accident law firm. Such cases can get complicated, especially if they are under your auto insurance coverage.
3. Car Engine Size
It is your duty as a parent to purchase the safest car for your teen because they are new to this.
An engine with high horsepower means that it can accelerate and move at significantly high speeds. This is unsafe for teen drivers and encourages speeding. Start small by considering a smaller engine size that will move at safe speeds.
4. Size of the Car
The size of a car ultimately affects the safety of occupants with or without a crash. Smaller cars do not have enough space to protect their occupants in case of a road accident.
While large cars like SUVs offer more protection during a crash, they might be too heavy for a teen driver. Such vehicles also have a high center of gravity, making them more prone to tipping and rollovers. Consider purchasing a medium-size vehicle, again, without compromising on safety standards.
5. Buying a New vs Used Car for Your Teen
When it comes to buying teenagers a car, most parents prefer to get a used car rather than a new one for several reasons. Used vehicles are more affordable, incur lower insurance costs, and the ridiculously high prices of new cars are discouraging.
If you choose to purchase a used car for your teenager, ensure that you are not foregoing important safety features. Always take a used car for a pre-purchase examination before making the final decision. In addition, ask for past maintenance records to understand the car’s current condition.