Getting the first car for your teenager is both exciting and nerve wracking and can be a scenario full of tension as the young driver will have very different ideas about what kind of car they want, compared with their parents.
However, there are a number of key things which both need to consider before parting with any money and if the teenager can be involved in the purchase decisions it may go some way to help install a sense of responsibility.
Here are some of the key issues which need to be considered when purchasing a car for a teenager:
New and inexperienced drivers are far more likely to end up in accidents so looking for a car which has some key safety features is a must. It’s not just about the size of the engine but also about all of the added safety features which you can find.
Many modern models come with anti-lock brakes and airbags as standard, and there are even some which have on board computer power which can warn of a potential impact before it’s happened.
Check out the crash test results of any car you are considering and ask about any added safety features which might be available for the car in question.
2.Get the car checked out
If you have a car in mind make sure you get it thoroughly checked out to ensure it is in a good, safe condition. While it might be tempting to pay as little as possible for their first car, you don’t want them to be driving something dangerous.
Get a mechanic check before you agree to buy – most garages will organise pre-purchase inspections for a small fee which is well worth paying.
3.Consider the ongoing costs
As well as the cost of the car, look at the cost of spares, repairs, tax and insurance before going ahead with a purchase. Many insurance companies will charge through the nose for a new teenage driver so all of this needs to be taken into account.
4.Consider technology to monitor your teen
Technology can help to open conversations with your teen about their driving habits, for example, you can install apps which monitor how fast they go and if they drive beyond the boundaries you might want to set for them. Make sure the car you are considering is compatible with this kind of safety technology to put your mind at rest.
5.Look for a car they won’t want to show off too much
Safety and cost should be the primary factor when choosing a car for your teenager and while it makes sense for them to have a say they shouldn’t end up in a flashy car which they want to show off and drive fast for all their friends.
6.Invest in technology to stop phone use
Look at some of the mobile apps which prevent text messages and other alerts while driving to make sure your teen won’t be tempted and educate them about the dangers of driving while on the phone, before they get behind any kind of steering wheel.
7.Think about the fuel costs
If your teenager will be driving to college and back and to visit you on the weekends you will need to think about the fuel costs as these could add up pretty quickly so make sure you have an idea of fuel costs before buying.
Teenagers can’t wait to get out and drive and then have their first car but there are a lot of aspects to consider when purchasing that first new driver car. While it may be tempting to get the cheapest old banger you can, to keep the costs low, their safety must always be paramount.
Getting a decent, good quality second hand car needn’t break the bank and if you are purchasing a car with inbuilt safety features then this could be the perfect choice for your new teenage driver.
Technology and safety features built into the car can certainly help and encourage a new driver to be sensible; they are no substitute for great driver training and responsible parenting advice.
It’s important to make sure your young driver is confident in all driving conditions and to help them feel happy in a car on the motorway, at night, in the rain and all of the other difficult conditions they might come across, before they hit the road alone.
Buying their first car could be fraught with tension if they want a sporty fast car to show off to friends but by explaining the dangers and cost implications there should be a good quality middle ground car out there which will keep everyone in the family happy.