Buying a teen’s first car? Here are 17 key considerations

Michael James

Buying a used car for a teenager requires careful planning.

Buying your teenager their first car can be a milestone. As such, it’s important to purchase the right vehicle.

Here are 17 areas to consider before making buying a new car or truck:

1. Budget
Make certain to consider the total cost of ownership. Calculate your child’s income and determine how much they can afford in terms of monthly payments. Also consider additional charges such as taxes, registration fees, gas/maintenance/insurance costs, etc.

Consider the included 17 driving tips when purchasing a teenager's first car.
Consider the included 17 driving tips when purchasing a teenager’s first car.

2. Safety
Look at the crash ratings and vehicle safety features when selecting a car. An important tip is to avoid older cars without airbags or other protection systems. It can prove unwise, particularly if an accident occurs.

3. Reliability
Purchasing and used car with a low price can be tempting, but reliability is important and as such consider a regular maintenance plan and extended warranty. Also, make sure the car has not been in any accidents or had major repairs done before buying it.

4. Fuel Efficiency
Research fuel-efficient cars and compare their ratings to determine what time of gas mileage you can expect from the vehicle. Keep in mind newer models tend to have better fuel efficiency than older models.

5. Comfort
Consider seating position options and overall comfort when shopping for a teenager’s first vehicle. A pleasant driving experience, including seating positioning and climate control and good old fun while behind the wheel can initiate a long driving tenure.

Driving your first car will be a better experience if 17 key tips are followed.
Driving your first car will be a better experience if 17 key tips are followed.

6. Size
The size of the car is important when it comes to safety and fuel efficiency. Generally, larger cars are safer, but they also tend to be heavier, making them less fuel-efficient. Consider your teen’s needs and choose a car that has the right balance of safety and efficiency for their lifestyle

7. Technology
In today’s world, technology plays a major role in car safety and convenience. Look for cars with features such as blind spot monitoring, automated emergency braking, and lane departure warning systems to ensure your teen driver is safe on the road.

8. Reviews
Read the reviews of other drivers who have owned the same car you’re considering. It will apprise you of any problems they may encounter and the car’s reliability.

9. Insurance
Before you begin enjoying the car, consider its insurance costs. Premiums vary considerably, so it’s cost-effective to find a reasonable price for the insurance.

10. Maintenance
Make sure you factor in regular maintenance for the car so your teenager has a safe and reliable vehicle for many years. For example, ask questions about how often certain parts need replacing or servicing — brakes to tires to oil filters, etc.

11. Test Drive
Before committing to purchasing a car, take it for a test drive and how it handles. You should be comfortable in knowing your teenager is driving a safe and reliable vehicle before handing over the keys.

12. Maintenance Records
Ask the seller for maintenance records so that you can be sure that the car has been serviced regularly throughout its life. This will give you peace of mind that it won’t develop any mechanical issues down the line.

13. Warranty
Many cars come with a warranty, but you should ensure that this will cover any repair costs if something goes wrong after your purchase.

14. Extended Warranties
If you are feeling extra cautious, you may want to look into extended warranties, as these can help protect you against expensive repairs in the event of an unexpected breakdown.

15. Features
Decide if there are any other features you want your teenager’s car to have. The list can include a navigation system, Bluetooth audio streaming, hands-free calling or text messaging capabilities and heated seats.

16. Financing Options
If you plan on taking out a loan to pay for the car, make sure you research financing options and select the plan that suits your needs and budget. Be aware of interest rates and other fees associated with loans so that you know what kind of payment you’ll have.

Once you have considered all of the above, you can make a decision and buy your teenager their first car. Be sure to explain the importance of safe and responsible driving, particularly since DUI laws vary by state.

17. Making The Purchase
Once you’ve done all your research and made your decision, make the purchase. You should consider if there are any required additional costs. Be sure to also read contracts or any other paperwork carefully before signing any document.

Considering these 17 things to think about before buying your teenager their first car, you will be able to ensure they have a reliable and cost-efficient vehicle for many years.

Content provided by The Weekly Driver News Service and additional news sources.

Article Last Updated: March 6, 2023.

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