When your son or daughter gets old enough to drive, it can naturally lead to some parental jitters. And yet, there’s something exciting about it, too. It’s a big step forward for your teen, and proof that they’re growing up—just as they should be!
You may or may not be in a position to help them buy a car. If you are, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Helping Your Teen Buy a Car
Get Your Son or Daughter Involved
Make sure you involve your teenager in the research and in the decision-making. This helps set expectations. It helps ensure it’s a car your son or daughter is at least somewhat excited about. And, most importantly, it shows them a thing or two about responsibility.
Make a Budget
One thing you’ll especially want to do with your teen driver is to sit down and make a budget. Again, this can be an important lesson in responsibility, but it also keeps all of you on the same page about what your family can or can’t afford. Make sure you account for things like gas and auto insurance, too!
Split the Costs
Even if you plan to buy your teenager a car, it’s always a good idea to ask them to help in some way—whether by making a small “down payment,” or simply helping with gas and/or insurance. Find a balance between generosity and shared responsibility.
It almost goes without saying that you should reiterate safe driving practices for your teens, and perhaps even make some rules about things like cellphone use, who’s allowed to be in the car, etc. Enrolling your teen driver in driver’s ed can help reinforce safety standards, and it might lead to an insurance discount, as well.
Get a Safe Vehicle
Above all else, you want the car itself to be a safe and reliable one. Make sure you do some online research and find a used car that offers good safety features and strong crash test scores.
Research the Vehicle History
Using the VIN on a particular car or truck, you can run a quick check of its history—learning if it’s been in any accidents or had major body work done in the past. This will provide you with peace of mind about the car your teen is driving, and help you steer clear of potential lemons.
Test Drive and Inspect the Car
Never buy a vehicle without test driving it and doing a thorough visual inspection. If anything looks, feels, or sounds off, that’s reason enough to walk away.
Buy from a Reputable Dealership
Finally, the safest way to buy a used car is to visit an independent auto dealership—not a private seller. We can help connect you with one right here in Southern California. Find the best used car dealership near you; reach out to Get My Auto today!