All kids are excited to get their very first car, but unless they’ve spent years doing their homework and researching the best first cars for teens, they are going to need some assistance. Even if they have done their homework, the chances their dream car is slightly out of budget, not to forget inappropriate, are pretty high. Because of this, you must consider what your kid needs from a first car.
New Versus Used
The first thing to consider when buying a car, especially one for your child, is whether you want to purchase an old car or a new car. Unless you have more money than sense, there’s no point buying a brand new car.
Think of value for money, but also think of the potential risks associated with buying a new car. Your son or daughter may have only just passed their driving test, which means a brand new car is quite a responsibility. With a used car, you can still get a reliable little machine that won’t cost you too much.
How to Pay
You might want to treat your kid to their first car, but this is not always the best idea if you’re trying to teach them the value of money. Ideally, it’s up to them to fund the car. However, they could run into some issues, such as Poor credit or the inability to get the car on a finance program.
You could help them in this respect, such as paying for the car upfront and expecting them to pay you back over time. You could also split the cost, or agree to share payment responsibilities, such as tax and gas.
No one should ever drive a car without insurance, even if you are only heading to the store down the street. Car insurance is crucial for protecting the driver in the event of an accident, and if your child is inexperienced with driving, this can be useful.
But what type of insurance do you select? You can have them apply for their own insurance or add them to yours, which will generally give them more protection, but also means the car may not be classified as theirs.
Do They Need a Car?
Finally, you’ve got to ask yourself if they even need a car? The investment can be expensive, as can the running costs that will continue to accumulate as the vehicle gets older.
If they have a job, then consider whether a car will make getting there more convenient or if public transport is still suitable. Likewise, are they planning on going anywhere soon? And do you even have space on the driveway to accommodate another car? Make it clear you’re not trying to stop your child from getting their first car, but rather making sure it is logistically sound.
Hit The Road
A car gives your child freedom and also teaches them responsibility for their spending. They will need to budget and be held accountable should anything go wrong. However, as a parent, you still want to support them as much as you can, and while this is one of the first steps towards adulthood, you’re always happy to offer advice and guidance.