Many of us probably remember the joy of having our very first car. Getting our driver’s license was a good feeling of control, the freedom of being behind the wheel without supervision was as exciting as it was scary!
It is a very exciting and scary time for your teen as well and you really need to consider what type of car you want them driving while they are so inexperienced. The additional expense of a new car probably doesn’t sound like a great idea right now so I wouldn’t advise evaluating new cars until your teen has a few years of driving experience under their belt.
In addition, new cars depreciate fast, losing half their value in the first few years. Buying a used car for your teen instead is easier on the budget and allows you to still be able to save money for your kid’s college fund or other future expenses.
Think safety first
You want to be sure your teen is driving the safest car you can possibly afford. Obviously your teen will want a car that has at least a little “get up and go” to it but the last thing you want is your teenager in a car that will go from 0 to 60 in five seconds. That is just too much temptation for any teenager. Considering that most teens will push the speed limit boundaries at some time or another, the less raw power their first car has the better off they will be. If you are trying to be strike a healthy balance between safety and style with your teen, don’t worry, there are plenty of reliable cars for teens that make smart, safe and affordable first cars
Prepare yourself for rate shock
Another important factor for consideration is car insurance for your teen. The first car you buy your teen will impact your insurance costs in a major way. That red Camaro may be your teens dream ride but I can guarantee you won’t be getting dream car rates on the insurance premiums. You might be better off considering putting your teen in something like a Civic. Even though it is not the coolest car in town, it will save a bundle of money on insurance and get your teen safely from point A to Z.
Keep your teen involved
Always keep your teen involved in the decision-making process. Try to let them have quite a bit of say in which kind of car they want to drive, within reason. If your teen is interested in a particular car, it will feel like more of an investment for them. This also means that they will most likely be more responsible with the care and use of the car. The key here is making a joint decision between yourself and your teen.
Buying the first car that your teen drives does not have to be so traumatic. Remember to think safety first, shop around for the best insurance rates you can get, and let your teen be a part of the process.