Buying a car for your teenager is possibly one of the biggest decisions in your child’s life. With each milestone, you inch a little closer to cutting the cord.
The journey is both exciting and petrifying in equal measure. Even with every intention of making your child happy, handing them a set of car keys may be a little overwhelming for many parents.
In this article, we discuss essential tips to consider when shopping for a car with your teen driver.
Even though your teen is doing everything they can to claim their independence, your perception of them remains the same, and your instincts want to keep them safe.
When shopping around the dealership, look for car models with child-friendly features such as GPS to help them navigate between school, home and their part time job.
Some vehicles will send a notification if they drive past certain hours or boundary. These notifications will keep your child in check and remind them of their pending curfews. Your teen will appreciate a set of door speakers for bass to give quality sound.
The safety of your child comes above everything else. Inspect the safety features of each vehicle on your list of possible cars. If you are in the market for a used car, check if the safety features are at par with the latest technology and if not, consider upgrading the vehicle.
Ensure the vehicle has Antilock Brake System (ABS). Antilock brakes prevent the wheels from coming to a complete halt when the driver punches the brakes. This way, the driver maintains control of the steering wheel. ABS come in handy when your child is driving on a slippery road e.g. during winter.
Leasing A Vehicle
In some cases, your child may insist on driving the best model available, similar to your car. If you check their grades and determine that they deserve a little treat, consider leasing a vehicle.
The main benefit of renting a vehicle is that you do not have to try reselling the car once the lease expires; you simply hand back the key to the dealership or car owner. With leasing, you can drive a much fancier car than you can afford with your credit rating.
Be careful, though, most lease agreements require the driver to be at least eighteen. If you choose to rent instead of buying, take up the lease and car insurance and list your child as a regular driver.
Negotiate Like A Pro
Finally, you have narrowed down to the best car model that makes both you and your teen driver happy. It is now time to ink the deal. Well, not so fast. As any salesperson worth their salt will tell you, you never pay full price. So, buckle down and get ready to negotiate.
While a poker face is a great negotiating tool, it may not be feasible with a first-time car buyer. At this point, your teen has probably let on that he wants the new ride and you, the adults, are dragging this out.
Let your car salesperson know you have done your homework. This way, they will not take advantage of you price wise, as they would to a novice shopper. Negotiate relentlessly and only sign the deal if the price is right.
Paying For Gas
Adding another vehicle to the family collection of cars means more expenses on fuel and maintenance. If the energy crisis a few years back is anything to go by, you reckon that fluctuating gas prices can wreak havoc on your finances.
For this reason, select a vehicle with a high fuel economy to keep gas expenses to a minimum. Discuss with your teen and agree on the purpose for the car; drive to school, after school activities, grocery store, etc.
If your teen has a part time job, encourage them to pay for gas as you handle regular maintenance. Learning to pay their bills from early on will teach them financial responsibility and help them appreciate the value of a dollar.
Whether buying a car for your teen, extensive research will help you make informed decisions. If money is tight, encourage your child to find a part-time job so they can chip in for the price. This way, your teen can get a model with better features like door speakers for bass and better interiors.