Do you remember your very first car? No matter what type of car it was, or whether the paint was chipping off and the floorboards were rusted out, it was your car, and it was the greatest thing ever.
Getting a car as a teenager is a dream come true, and this is one milestone that all teens (and parents) eventually will reach.
But what kind of car does your teenager need? What’s the safest option? You might even wonder when is the best time to shop and compare quotes for auto insurance. These are all questions that are completely up to you. But with all of the options in the automotive world today, how do you sift through all of the details?
Buying a car for your teen should be a memorable experience, even if it makes your anxiety run high. In the following post, we’ll explore a few simple steps to take when buying your teenager their first vehicle.
Stick to the Basics
If you have plenty saved up and you have complete trust in your teenager to be responsible at every turn, then you may have no issue with buying him or her a brand new car, maybe even a V8 Mustang with over 480 horsepower.
If that thought doesn’t make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, consider yourself lucky.
Most parents, regardless of the faith placed in their teen, will most likely want to opt for a basic car, meaning something efficient and safe enough to get from point A to point B without any issues.
Though compact cars, sedans, and otherwise, “boring rides” aren’t considered the coolest cars on the road, these types of vehicles often have the best fuel economy, the best safety ratings, and will typically offer the cheaper price tag.
Pre-Select a Few Cars
The last thing you’ll want to do is to promise your teen the car of their dreams and then come to find that you can’t afford the one they have their heart set on.
In order to mitigate any conflict (or tears), the best strategy is to go out and pre-shop for a car for your teen.
Go out and hit a few dealerships. Look for the best deals to keep it easier on your wallet, and look at several different models. It’s also good to look at both new and pre-owned vehicles to get a sense of what’s in style and to see the difference in price.
You’ll also want to do some data crunching to see which cars are the best for teen drivers, and which ones have the best safety features and ratings.
Once you have a shortlist of vehicles that you’ve pre-approved for your teen, it’s time to give them a choice.
Let Your Teen Decide
Now comes the best part, letting your teenager pick out their very first car. And as this might be a cause for anxiety for some parents, if you follow the plan set out here, it should be fairly painless.
Simply explain to your teenager that you have a few cars in mind for them to choose from, and you might find that they’ll be a little excited. Even if they’ve been set on a dream car in their head, once they actually drive off of the lot in a car that you’ve chosen for them, you probably won’t get many complaints.
Let your teen test drive all of the vehicles that you’ve looked at, and allow them time to decide on which one is right for them. And you never know, you might just get lucky on the first test drive.
Truth be told, the thought of your child driving is a scary one. And this is true for nearly all parents, but this is a bridge that we all have to cross eventually.
We were all once young, inexperienced drivers, and we’ve all made mistakes behind the wheel. So, choosing a safe vehicle and ensuring that your teen knows how to drive safely will help you to rest easy at night.