You have been vigorously saving for college as your teenager continues to grow older and older. You take them to get their permit, they take driving classes, and all of a sudden, they are able to get behind the wheel by themselves. How did that happen so quickly? You begin to wonder, “How can I afford this and where am I going to find the right car for them?”
Image Courtesy Of Courtney Corlew
Fear not, there are ideas available for you to prepare for this life-changing moment in your teenager’s life.
Prepare them to Buy Their Car
This conversation may not go as well as you would like, but have your child take some ownership of their car. Ask them to get a job to help with the payments of the car. Make a deal with them that you will match whatever earnings they have when they are ready to buy a car. Obviously, this has to be feasible for you, but it would be a great incentive to get your teenager working as much as possible.
Many teens who have to purchase their own car, or most of it, will be more likely to take care of it more. They will feel the ownership that it is theirs and wasn’t paid for by their parents. Teenagers love to have control, and this one way they can have it.
Shop Around With Them
Their vision of what car they want and the one you want may vary slightly…or greatly! Have the conversation ahead of time about the budget and what price ranges work for you. You will also need to have a discussion about paying monthly insurance as well as paying for gas. These are all things that teens tend to overlook when they see the car of their dreams.
Visit affordable cars websites to get a feel for what is out there on the cheaper side of the market. Ultimately, your goal is to have your teen in the safest car as possible. The last thing a parent wants to worry about is a car breaking down on the highway. Really do your homework, with your teen, ahead of time and have open and honest conversations all along the way. They are going to be so excited to be getting their own car that they will be more apt to put the headphones away and hear you out.
This may also be a good time to purchase a new car for the family and give your old car to them. Are you really getting the best deal on the family car is a great starting place to decide if this is the right option for you and your family.
Have the Car Thoroughly Checked
The safety of your child is worth spending a little extra to have car services like Car Fax to be 100% certain that this is the right car for your teen. After that process is completed, it would be a wise idea to have a mechanic do a thorough check on the vehicle as well. Don’t let your teen talk you out of buying the car if it has a few dings and scratches on the exterior. It is the safety of the vehicle that matters. There is probably a good chance they are going to add a few dings along their journey.
Know Your Teen
You are the boss and their use of the car, whether they purchase it themselves or not, is still in your hands. You need to make this very clear to them from the beginning. The rate of teenage driving deaths is growing by the day. Teens are very easily distracted with their phones, getting behind the wheel when they shouldn’t be, and impressing their friends. Getting behind the wheel is like having a loaded weapon in your hands. This needs to be overly emphasized as letting them drive on their own will be one of the scariest moments of your life.
Take a deep breath and know this too shall pass! It is a great time to spend with your teen and really be a part of their journey. It will be scary for you, but one of the most exciting moments of their life. Embrace it and keep them safe.