Making the decision to buy your son or daughter their first car can be daunting. It’s such an important milestone, and you want to make sure they’re ready. Once you’ve decided to give your child the independence and freedom that comes with a car, there are some important things to consider. Are you going to ask them to contribute or pay for it completely? Is your child aware of the costs to run and maintain a car? These are all things you can discuss with your kid depending on your situation. Here are five general tips for buying your kid’s first car.
Allow them to contribute
If your son or daughter has the means, it could be an idea to allow them to contribute. Discuss a realistic percentage they can afford and get them to make a budget in order to save the money. Here are some tips on budgeting for kids. Once you’re convinced by their saving efforts you could even call it off and offer to pay the rest, it’s up to you.
Teach them the value of money
Take the opportunity to teach your kids about money. Buying a car is just the start, teach them about the costs of maintenance and the general running of the car. If you intend on making them pay for this themselves, you might need to encourage them to put some money aside each month from a part-time job. Teach them the value of their hard-earned cash.
Choose the right car
It’s important to prioritize and choose the best car for teens. Many parents opt for second-hand in order to save money. You can get an almost new car for a much lower price. It’s up to you to negotiate with your kid about which car they want. They’ll probably just be happy to finally get wheels of their own, but make sure they understand how to prioritize.
Take it on a test drive
More importantly, allow your child to take it on a test drive before you buy a new car. It’s vital that they’re comfortable in the car they might have only driven one or two cars before. Get them confident in using all the controls and after you buy, give them a few refresher driving lessons. They’ll no doubt be eager to get out on the road but make sure they’re fine in the car you’ve chosen.
Give them a lesson on maintenance
This is often only a small part of driver’s ed. Give them a quick rundown of basic maintenance and even where to find different car parts, on sites such as TDot Performance for example. This way they’ll have more understanding of what to do when the car breaks down, and more importantly how much it’ll cost. Hopefully this will convince them to take even more care while driving and protect themselves and the vehicle.
Buying your teen’s first car is a fantastic milestone to share together, so don’t forget to capture the moment with pictures.