Part of being the parent to a teenager is teaching your son or daughter how to drive. This will also likely mean buying a vehicle for them to drive. While owning and maintaining a vehicle can teach a child important life skills, you want to make sure that the vehicle is safe and otherwise meets your standards.
1- The Vehicle Should Be Affordable
Prior to purchasing a car or truck for your teen, set a price point and stick to it. In fact, it may worth allowing your teen to take part in setting the budget and selecting the vehicle. This will show your new driver what it’s like to haggle over price and go through the auto financing process. Even if your son or daughter won’t be paying for the car or be on the loan, it can still be a valuable learning experience.
2- Be Sure to Have the Car or Truck Inspected
It isn’t enough to take the word of whoever is selling the vehicle when it comes to determining how safe it is to drive. Ideally, you will have it inspected by a mechanic before the purchase is final. If possible, try to get a vehicle history report to make a more informed decision.
3- How Long Will the Vehicle Last?
The type of vehicle that you buy will depend on how long you want or need it to last. If you need something to get your child through high school, you may be able to buy something older and less expensive. However, it may be better to buy a newer car or truck in the event that you need it to last for many years or if you plan to hand it down to the current driver’s younger sibling.
4- How Much Will It Cost to Insure?
Insurance rates are determined by a variety of different factors. For instance, a car that has an alarm system or another anti-theft device could qualify for an insurance discount. Bundling an auto insurance policy with a home or life insurance policy could also result in a lower premium.
5- Can You Track Your Teen’s Location?
Newer cars will come with technology that allows you to track your child’s location as well as their actions behind the wheel. Smartphone apps may also be able to interface with the car and send alerts on a regular basis. Collecting this information can help you coach your teen into becoming a safer driver.
6- What Safety Features Does It Come With?
Most cars and trucks will come with an airbag on the driver’s side. They may also be built to absorb a collision to the front or back of the vehicle. However, if you want side collision protection, rearview cameras and other advanced features, it may be necessary to buy a vehicle built in the last three or four years.
7- How Well Will It Hold Its Resale Value?
To get the most for your money, buy a vehicle that will hold its value the longest. The more valuable a car is when it comes time to trade or sell it, the easier it will be to get your next vehicle. This is true whether you are planning to keep it after your teen leaves home or want your teen to keep it for however long it makes sense to own it.
Safety, reliability and affordability are the three key things to look out for when selecting a vehicle. You want the peace of mind that comes with knowing your child is able to get home from work or school safely each day. To learn more about a vehicle before buying it, feel free to conduct research online or take a test drive before signing purchase paperwork.