When you were a teenager, it was likely an exciting time for you when you bought your first car. As the parent of a new driver, your new focus is going to be less on the sound system and the entertainment and the way that they can show off and impress people, and more about safety, affordability and reliability.

What can we say? Priorities change as we get older, and while that can suck as an adult, you want to make sure that you’re making the right decisions with your teenager about the new car. Whether you decide to purchase a new car or you go with a VW second hander, you need to remember that buying a car isn’t going to be an easy decision for you or for your teenager. With the tips below, however, you can balance safety and reliability with affordability and your new driver’s excitement. Here’s some great advice for buying a car for your teenager.

  1. Put your expectations in place early. Buying for your teenager is an exciting occasion for everybody involved. But before you start heading to the new parking lots, communicate expectations for the car as well as the buying process. You need to set the budget and make sure that your teenager doesn’t go over that budget when they are getting excited over cars.
    When you discuss this early, you’ll avoid disappointment. You should think about what type of car you’d want your teenager to drive. Obviously they’ll have some input, but as the person paying for the car, you’re the person that gets the final say. You should also discuss the responsibilities of owning and operating a car. It doesn’t have to be a lecture, but it should be a conversation between both of you that outline your expectations going in.
  2. Make sure that you’re investing in driver education. Drivers Ed classes are mandatory for young drivers across America, but even if the classes are not required in your state, make sure that you have your teenager complete one before getting behind the wheel. Too many accidents are caused by teenagers with their friends in the car because they think they’re invincible. While it’s nice that your teenager would have confidence, you need to remind them of their own mortality so that they can drive safely.
  3. Think safety first when you shop. Getting a safe car is the most essential thing. Teenage drivers are three times more likely to crash per mile driven than older drivers, so you need to make sure that you’re avoiding those V6 engines with faster speeds. And don’t assume the bigger the car the better. Think about the safety features such as anti lock brakes, electronic stability control and airbags.
  4. Consider used or new. There are pros and cons for both really, but considering whether you buy a brand new car for your teenager or a used one that’s more forgiving if they prang it is important. As long as you are checking for quality, you should be just fine.

Greg Kononenko
Greg Kononenko

My name is Greg Kononenko and I am a full-time online blogger and owner of Dad's Hustle. I'm a dad, and my passion is to help other mums and dads to start their own "hustle" and improve the financial future of their families.

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