If the thought of your teenager driving scares you, you’re not alone. Evidence shows that teens are three times more likely to have fatal car crashes than more experienced drivers.
Although teens have a higher chance of getting into accidents, many parents still allow their teens to get a driver’s license and a car.
If your teen is about to get his or her driver’s license, you might also be considering buying a car for your teenager. If you’re not sure how to choose a car or what to do, continue reading.
This guide can help you learn everything you need to know about buying a car for your teenager, including how to choose a safe one and have them help pay for the costs.
Include Them in the Process
One of the best things you can do as a parent is to include your teen in the process of buying a car. You can include them in several ways, and the first way is through saving up to pay for the car.
How much do you want to spend on the vehicle? Will you pay cash for it or get a loan? In either case, you can tell your teenager that they must pay a specific amount for the car.
Some parents tell teens that they will match the amount the teen saves. For example, if your teen saves $3,000 for a car, the parents will contribute $3,000 to have a total of $6,000 to spend when buying a teen a car.
Another way to include your teen in the process is by teaching your teenager to drive. You can take them for drives, and you can enroll the child in a driver’s education course.
You can also include them in the process of buying a car by having them research vehicles, costs, and safety ratings. Including your teen in the process helps them build responsibility, which could result in safer-driving habits.
Additionally, teens with responsibilities tend to value their cars more than kids who get free cars with no strings attached.
Choose a Safe Vehicle
The next thing to consider is the safety of the vehicle you purchase. Teens often prefer sports cars or vehicles that are fast, shiny, and fashionable. While there’s nothing wrong with some cars that fit this description, some are not practical.
As mentioned above, teens have a much higher risk of getting into fatal accidents. Teens also have a higher chance of getting into minor accidents, too.
Knowing this, you might want to consider buying a safe car for your teen’s first vehicle, and you can find out the safest cars for teens by doing some research. Cars with excellent safety ratings are ideal for new drivers.
All newer cars come with safety ratings, and the ratings include four primary categories. One of these is a measurement of airbag effectiveness. Most cars today come equipped with airbags, and airbags are there to prevent significant injuries.
Safety ratings also factor in the survival space inside and the effectiveness of the vehicle’s seat belt system. If you want to feel more confident about your teen driving, you’ll probably want to pick a car with high safety ratings.
Consider the Costs for Insurance
Insurance is another vital factor to consider when buying a car for your teenager. Car insurance is not cheap for inexperienced, new drivers, and teens fall into this category.
As a result, teen auto insurance is typically the most expensive auto insurance you can buy. You can reduce the rates you pay, though, by choosing the right car and coverage types. You can also reduce the rates in other ways.
There are several factors you should understand when choosing a car that affects your rates. One of these is the types of insurance coverage you buy.
If you have a loan on the car you buy your teen, you’ll need full-coverage insurance, which costs more than liability-only. If you can pay cash for the vehicle, you can save money by purchasing a liability-only policy.
Second, the value of the car affects the teen’s insurance rates. A valuable, expensive car costs more to insure than a cheap car. For example, insurance for a $20,000 car costs more than insurance for a $5,000 car.
Additionally, your teen’s grades can impact insurance rates. If your child qualifies for a good-grade discount, it might lower the policy’s costs.
Create Expectations and Rules for Your Teen’s Driving Privileges
The final thing to consider is creating expectations and rules for your teen driver. Teens with rules and expectations might develop safer driving habits, which might help them avoid accidents.
Parents of teens often worry about accidents when their teens start driving. The truth is that accidents happen, but accidents are also preventable.
If your teen gets into an accident, you might be stuck hiring auto accident lawyers, so it’s better to aim to prevent accidents instead of dealing with them after they occur.
How do you prevent accidents? One way is by setting up rules.
Here are some examples of rules and expectations you might want to require from your teen:
- They can only drive between specific times of the day
- They cannot have passengers for the first few months
- They can drive to and from school or work only
- They cannot drive unless they have good grades
- They lose their privileges if they get in trouble at school
- They must pay some of the insurance costs
You can use some of these rules or make others. Setting these up before you buy the car is vital, as it helps teens know the rules and expectations from their parents.
Buying a Car for Your Teenager Requires Thought and Planning
When buying a car for your teenager, it might help to consider these tips. Teens love getting their driver’s licenses and vehicles, and parents can help them stay safe by choosing the right car and discussing expectations.
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