The day your teenager gets a driver’s license, its exciting. It marks the transition from childhood and transition to adult responsibility and opportunity. It also marks new worries for the parents, in this day and age, where about 40 percent of teenage drivers admit to sending text messages and emails when they get behind the wheel.
Fortunately, the risk of a crash declines quickly as young drivers gain experience of driving.
But how to help limit the feelings of uneasiness that can be associated with putting your teenager in the driver’s seat, and finding the right car for their situation – and your wallet?
Here are the most important considerations when shopping the right vehicle for your teens.
Bigger, heavier vehicles, are recommended for teenagers which can best protect them in a crash. But large vehicles, like full-sized SUVs and pickup trucks, can be hard to maneuver and are very expensive. Small cars are more affordable and easier to drive and park, but they don’t do well in crash tests.
Mid-sized or compact SUVs fall in the middle for both size and price parameters. They’re heavy, so they can sustain less damage in crashes, but they’re small enough to drive easily, and they offer sufficient visibility. Such models are priced similar to mid-sized sedans and grant similar fuel economy.
If you choose a large vehicle, make sure your teenager is comfortable driving it. If you go with a smaller car, consider the ones with higher crash-test ratings and front-crash prevention upgrades such as automatic braking.
All cars need routine maintenance check, but if your teen’s car requires frequent repairs, it could be a safety concern and a major inconvenience which they may not be able to afford.
If you buy an old vehicle from a private seller, make sure if it’s in good condition. Start by having a vehicle history report pulled, and also, ask for the owner’s maintenance records and have a mechanic inspect it before you buy.
Certified pre-owned cars purchased from a dealership store are generally more expensive, and the price is hard to negotiate, but these cars won’t be needing an inspection. Repair costs are covered under the included factory warranty generally, three years or longer if you buy an extended warranty.
Whenever you buy a car for your child, you must determine how much you can afford to spend.
Do you have the money to buy a new car or a used car?
Will you finance the purchase with a car loan?
Can your teen be able to pay for part or all of the car?
Will your teen help pay for gas, insurance or monthly payments of the car?
Is there a family car available for your teen to take over or share?
Keeping these questions in mind, you will be able to buy the car fit for your budget and for your kid.
One of the safety gadgets you can use is installing a car GPS tracker on your teen’s car. This helps you monitor the location of your teen, driving patterns, risk behaviors and keeps you updated of his/her car’s health. These gadgets are pretty affordable and are worth the peace of mind. You can purchase a car gps tracker from Amazon. They are pocket-sized devices and the ones which connect directly to the OBDII port of the vehicle, don’t even need a battery as they draw power directly from the vehicle, so there is no headache involved to take care of it. Just install it and monitor.
Purchasing your child a car might be one of the highlights of their lives, so appreciate it. Soak in the delight and fervour that you see coming from your teenager as before you know it, things will have returned to ordinary with the attitude and angst that teenagers are famous for.