Choosing a car for your teen is one of the most challenging decisions you will have to make. You need something safe, reliable, and affordable. It can be hard to find all three qualities in one vehicle. However, there are many options out there that meet two or more of these requirements.
Think About The Features Your Teen Needs In a Car
Before you start looking at cars, sit down with your teen and have them list the features they need in a car. If their priority is to play loud music while driving around town, then an economy vehicle will not cut it. If they want leather seats for those cold winter mornings, then that rules out a convertible. If they need an all-inclusive vehicle, this car dealer recommends buying a Mini Cooper because they have a lot of modern features as standard. You can go on a test drive and find out the exact model they want.
You should also ask them if any features would be nice to have but not necessary. For instance, a backup camera is not necessary, but it does increase the safety factor, while a USB port is not necessary, but it does allow your teen to listen to their music.
Consider The Safety Features
When it comes to safety, you will want a car with airbags in the front, back, and sides. Also, look for anti-lock brakes and traction control. These features have been shown to reduce the number of accidents or injuries when driving, so they are definitely worth paying extra for if possible. If you want to go the extra mile and buy a new car, most models come with these safety features as standard.
However, if you are looking for used cars, there may be some that do not have all of these features, but they will still provide your teen with the best protection in case of an accident. Ensure the used car is inspected by a garage before you buy it.
Make Sure the Car is Affordable
You do not want to make the mistake of buying a car that is either too small for your teen or has all the features your child wants, but it costs more than their college tuition. And most importantly, remember to think about fuel efficiency as this will impact how much money you spend on gas each month and therefore on your monthly budget.
If your teen drives for miles to get to school, you may want a larger car that gets better gas mileage, but if they are only driving around town, then an economy vehicle will be acceptable. Be careful about financing the car because sometimes it can become too much of a burden on your monthly budget and could cause more harm than good.
Look at Gas Mileage, Insurance Rates, and Other Costs Before Making Your Purchase
As stated above, you need to look at the overall cost of maintaining the car. The purchase price is just the beginning since you will also have to factor in how much it costs for gas, oil changes, and any other maintenance that may need to be done. And don’t forget about insurance which can vary depending on where you live, so do your research carefully before deciding.
When looking at insurance premiums, remember that you are not just paying for the car but also for your teen. They will be responsible if anything happens (accidents, speeding tickets), so you need to make sure they have good grades and pass their driver’s test before buying a car.
Ensure the Vehicle Fits their Current Lifestyle
Your teen’s lifestyle will change over time. They may be wild and crazy when they are young but then settle down once they get older or vice versa. You cannot predict their future, so the best thing is to buy a car that fits their current needs. If you have more than one child, it might help purchase two cars so your older child can take over the car you buy for your younger one.
It’s also important to consider their gender and personality when choosing a vehicle. Do they prefer an automatic or manual transmission? Are they low-key or more high-strung? These questions will help you determine which types of cars might work best for them.
What’s Their Driving Experience
When it comes to the experience of driving, you may want to start your teen out with a used car, so they can gain some experience before owning an expensive newer model. This will also give them time to work on their skills and prove that they are responsible enough for more complicated vehicles in the future.
If you decide that buying new is the right choice for you and your teen, then ensure that the car has safety features since teens have a higher risk of accidents. Also, check if there are any recalls on specific models, so you do not end up with an unsafe vehicle for your child or teen driver.
In conclusion, there are several things to consider when buying your teen their first car. You need to make sure it is affordable, has safety features, and fits within the boundaries you have set for them and their current lifestyle. By thinking carefully about these factors, you can help ensure they stay safe on the roads for many years.