Learning to drive and getting their licence is an important part of a teen’s life. Giving them the first real taste of independence, it’s a sign that they’re approaching adulthood. But getting that pink licence will soon lead to questions about getting their own car, so be prepared.
Just because they’ve passed their test, doesn’t mean they’re necessarily ready for their own car. It’s not only a big responsibility, but there’s the financial aspect to consider too. Think your teen is ready for their first car? Think about the following first.
Can they (and you) afford it?
Cost is a big issue for teens when it comes to their first car. Who’s going to cover the cost, you or them? Many people struggle to afford their own car, let alone their teen’s, so it’s important that you budget appropriately before committing. If your teen is serious about getting their first car, then perhaps they should take on a part-time job to cover the cost and to help with ongoing costs. Richard Curzon is a car expert with some excellent guides to the latest cars, as well as providing motoring advice. Buying the initial car can be affordable, but it’s the maintenance and running costs you’ll want to think hard about.
Are they responsible?
Driving is one of the biggest responsibilities there is. And it can be daunting to think about your teen out there on the road. Having your teen prove that they are ready to handle their own car is important, so make sure you feel confident in your teen’s maturity before you hand over the keys. If there’s still some work to do before your teen is ready for a car, take a look at some ways to help teach your teenager more responsibility.
Are you prepared to set some rules?
Even if you think your child is ready to get their first car, you need to be prepared to set them some rules. For example, at first, you might want to limit driving at night or driving with a car full of passengers. You could enforce that all maintenance and running costs are covered by them, to help them feel more ownership of their car. Agree the rules in advance, and make sure you make your teen fully aware of the consequences for breaking any of the rules.
What to choose
After agreeing to get your teen a car, the next hurdle is deciding what to get. There are some tough decisions to make when choosing a first car, including the price and size of the car, but you’ll be able to use your own experiences to help your teen make the most sensible choice. Many teens start off with an older used car that’s affordable to insure and won’t have as much value if it gets damaged, which can be a good way for them to learn about owning with much less risk.
Getting a car is a big step for your teen, and a sign that they’ll soon be adults. Think about the decision carefully and be there to provide them with advice and support – they’re going to need it as they learn how to be safe and responsible on the road.