Congratulations, your teen just hit a milestone.
It wasn’t too long ago that they were sitting on your lap gnawing on a teething ring, but now that glorious day has arrived and you’re looking upon your child as a young adult, smiling big and holding his or her first driver’s license.
Where did the time go?
Regardless, now it’s time to do your duty as a parent and get them into their first car. In addition to this, you also have to make sure they stay safe on the road.
With all of the options available today, you have your pick of what type of car to buy for your child. Of course, you could do it the old-fashioned way and get them an old junker and encourage them to fix it up. Or, you could be the best parent ever and get them exactly what they want.
No matter what you choose, there are a few things you should consider about buying your child their first car.
Anyone who remembers being 16-years-old knows exactly what type of car they had their eye on. Maybe your pride and joy wants a brand new Porsche 911 Turbo. Good luck with that. Or, maybe they want to explore the world and they’d like nothing more than a Jeep Wrangler.
The vehicle they choose will certainly define who they are on the road, but you also want to keep safety in mind, especially for a first car.
Motorists between the ages of 16 and 17 have the highest rate of automotive crashes in which they are involved with injuries to themselves and others. And, this trend is repeated year after year.
As you can see, this is exactly the age when most people begin driving.
Not only do you need to ensure that your child would be safe in the event of an accident, but also that they get fully insured.
You’ll want to choose a vehicle that will give you peace of mind when your child is out on the road driving and one that your child will enjoy.
In doing so, compile a list of the safest cars and consider the safety features of each vehicle you look at, then make a decision based on this data.
You’ll want to keep in mind that your child (or you) will have to pay for gas and maintenance on their first vehicle.
With the price of gas always fluctuating, it’s best to choose a vehicle that is cost-efficient and gets good gas mileage.
Today, numerous automobile manufacturers are adopting eco-friendly features, and this means that most new models are much more efficient when it comes to fuel consumption. In fact, many vehicles today get anywhere between 25 and 35 miles per gallon on average, and you also have hybrid models that run on electricity as well.
In addition to gas mileage, maintenance is another cost that you’ll want to consider.
Buying an older model car might be the most cost-effective option for your budget. But, older vehicles are also notorious for needing frequent repairs. With this in mind, you might end up paying more in the long run for the vehicle if you choose to start your child off with an old jalopy.
Additionally, perform a web search and check out a list of the best cars for new drivers to see what the experts are saying.
Again, what your child chooses will define a part of his or her character as a young teen.
Now, this may seem like it doesn’t matter all that much. But, if you remember your first car, you’ll understand what a defining moment it was for you to sit in that seat for the first time and ride through the neighborhood and go pick up your best friend for a ride.
That being said, no teenager wants to drive a 1985 station wagon with wood grain doors. Honestly, nobody in 1985 wanted to either.
So, when you’re out on the lot, keep in mind that the sense of style you had as a teenager is far and removed from what your teen’s sense of style is. The best thing you can do is allow their sense of style to guide you to choosing something they’ll enjoy, while also choosing the safest and most cost-effective option for your child.
You’ll probably be surprised at the level of compromise that a teenager with a new driver’s license has. At the end of the day, all they want is to have a car to call their own. So, make it a memorable experience. After all, it’s going to be a day that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.