Your teenager took the road test and passed and you couldn’t be prouder. Though the nostalgia likely hasn’t worn off yet, they’re already asking you about when they can get a car of their own. You aren’t necessarily opposed to your teen driving, but want to make sure that you invest in a vehicle that is safe. They, on the other hand, are hoping you buy them a really cool car that makes their friends stare with envy. So how do you find a car that will keep them safe and look kind of cool pulling up in the school parking lot? These tips should give you a headstart.
Most parents would agree that because their teenagers are still in the beginning stages of driving, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend a ton of money on their first ride (unless you’ve got it like that). Take a look at your personal budget to see what you can afford.
When looking at affordability, you’ll also need to factor in things like car maintenance and repairs, monthly car payments, as well as insurance coverage. Keep in mind, however, that since your teen is an inexperienced driver, you will have to pay a bit more for insurance. You can save a few bucks by comparing quotes for car insurance online.
When your teen gets behind the wheel of a car, their safety and well-being are of the utmost importance. While drilling rules and regulations in their head are one way of mastering this, another is to purchase them a safe and reliable car. Though your teen may be hoping for a high-performance vehicle with tons of horsepower and flashy gadgets, these aren’t the best bet for first-time drivers. You can use the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) ratings to determine which is the best option for your teen. They test vehicles based on how well a car protects occupants in a crash as well as how advanced the technology in a vehicle is for avoiding accidents. You can then make a decision based on some of the top-rated cars for safety.
Your teenager may be trying to coax you into purchasing a large SUV or sedan that is suitable for additional passengers. Not only is this a bad idea, but it also isn’t safe. In the beginning, your teenager should be limited to how many passengers can be in the car with them as they can easily become distracted. Not to mention, larger cars and sedans are more difficult to maneuver increasing the likelihood that they end up in an accident.
Now here’s one factor your parents probably didn’t have to consider when purchasing you a car – technology. Newer model vehicles are packed with tech features, many of which can increase safety and comfortability for your teenager. There does, however, need to be a healthy balance as too much tech could cause your teen to get distracted. You may want to look into features like Bluetooth capabilities for hands-free driving, parking and braking assistance, as well as rearview cameras.
Now that you’ve gotten all the specifics out of the way, you can focus on choosing a car that your teen wants. Start by doing some online research on the best cars using the criteria listed above. Then, based on the car choices you’re given, talk with your teen about which make and model they’d be most interested in driving. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, you’re ready to pay a visit to the nearest car lot to pick out their new car.
In the back of your mind, you knew this day would come. The day your teen passes the driving test and asks for a ride of their own. While you can’t make them stay young forever, you can provide yourself with peace of mind by making sure you invest in the best car for your teen. Using all the factors listed above and getting some input from your teen, you should be able to find a vehicle that will provide you with peace of mind and give them so much joy.
This is a featured post by site supporter Anne Davis
Photo: Getty Images