Deciding whether to buy your teen driver a car is difficult, and even if you decide to do so, choosing the right car is not easy. Here are four factors to take into account when making your decisions.
1. The Car’s Safety
Since teens are new to driving, and not completely secure on the road, your top priority when buying a car for your teen is safety. The car should be equipped with all of the important safety features, including airbags and blind spot monitoring systems. Since small, compact cars can be less safe in an accident, mid-sized sedans may be a good choice for new drivers.
Remember that motor vehicles can be subject to recalls at any time. You can check the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) at www.safercar.gov to determine whether the vehicle is subject to any recalls.
2. The Car’s Dependability
For a credible list of dependable cars, check out the J.D. Power Award recipients. Once you have narrowed down their list, look at forums dedicated to specific cars. You can communicate with other drivers about their experiences with that car’s dependability.
3. The Car’s State
Once you have decided that you want to purchase a car, the question becomes, “New or used?” One plus to buying a used car is the more reasonable price range. However, this might be offset by maintenance and servicing costs. If you buy a used car, make sure all of the safety features are still intact and remember to run a Vehicle History Report on any used car before purchasing it.
4. The Driver’s Sense of Responsibility
It’s important to carefully consider whether your teen is ready for car ownership. You can use this opportunity to teach your teen about the dangers of driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Teen Drivers Guide offers information on the issues to cover with your teen.
Helping your teen to develop safe driving habits will benefit them for a lifetime. You can also use this opportunity to teach your teen about fiscal responsibility. Having them manage their own budget to pay for secondary costs, like gas and repairs, will help prepare them for one of the major components of adulthood: financial independence.
Keep Reading: Distracted Driving: It’s Not Just Your Cellphone