There is a lot to consider when buying your teen his or hers first car. Before making any major decision you should discuss with your teen what his or hers responsibilities will be. Here’s a list of important discussion topics to have with your teen.
Establish A Budget
Before buying any car you should always establish what kind of car you can actually afford. When it comes to purchasing your teen’s first vehicle, there are other factors that come into play. For example, just because you can afford to buy your teen a brand new Porsche doesn’t mean you should. You may want to discuss with your teen what kind of vehicle he or she wants, how he or she might contribute to paying for the vehicle and how he or she plans to use the vehicle (for example, is the vehicle just to get them through college or only to drive to work). You and your teen will want to establish a realistic goal as you may be already budgeting for college and other expensive educational options. Make sure whatever vehicle you decide upon is something that you can afford and won’t push your family into deeper debt.
Discuss Loan Terms
Buying a car for your teen is a great moment to discuss the important factors that are up for consideration when taking out a loan for a big purchase like a car or house. If you plan on having your teen purchase and pay for the vehicle mostly on his own, you may consider them “taking out a loan” through you or another family member.
Once you have a good idea of the finances, you’ll want to research into the most efficient and practical vehicle for you and your teen’s needs. For example, some insurance companies may penalize young drivers who drive sporty cars. Research used and new cars, read professional and owner reviews of the car you are consider and get as much feedback and advice from friends and family so that you and your teen can make a well-informed decision.
Inspect Then Test Drive
If you or your teen is buying a new car, this may not be as crucial of a step. Generally, new cars are efficient and drive well, and a casual inspection of the vehicle may confirm this. You should still test out the vehicle and make sure you are driving in a car that feels good for the way you drive. If you’re buying a used car on the other hand, you should definitely have the car inspected by a professional who can inspect the car during the car to see if verify the vehicle is in the condition the seller specified.
Check For Essential Safety Features
Whether you buy the vehicle new or used, you’ll want to make sure that the vehicle has basic safety features like seatbelts, an antilock braking system, an electronic stability control (this prevents a car from rotating when you drive through a turn too quickly), and head-protecting side air bags. Make sure you inspect that potential vehicle well and it’s safe to drive before you buy.
Have you bought your teen a car recently? Tell us about it!