Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Your Teenager’s First Car: What to Consider

Children grow up fast.

One day they’re running around in diapers and then the next thing you know they’re passing their driver’s test. You’ve been planning for this day for quite some time now, getting yourself mentally prepared for the worry only a parent of a new teenage driver can feel.

Yet, despite all of your planning and preparing, you’ve been putting off one pretty big thing: the car. Your teenager has been saving for awhile now and you told them that you would help them find the perfect first car. There are a few things you should consider before going to the nearest dealership.

Safety Features

Your child might disagree but your foremost concern when choosing a vehicle should be the safety features. At the very least, you want to find a vehicle that is equipped with the basics such as anti-lock brakes and airbags. Luckily, most vehicles you’ll find come standard with the basic features so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding something at the baseline. However, if you increase your budget or look at newer vehicles, you might find a vehicle that comes with a few more advanced features. Pre-collision warning, blind side assist, and lane-change warning are just a few safety features you might look for. If you live in an area with snow or heavy rain, it’s also a good idea to look for four-wheel drive vehicles.

Don’t Settle

One of the number one rules of looking for a new car is to not settle. Whatever your teenager’s budget may be, don’t feel as though you have to settle for something just because it’s cheap or it’s all you can find. Take the time to view multiple cars and visit more than one dealership. Do your homework on each of the vehicles you preview, as well as the dealer. Look up safety features, open recalls, maintenance reports, accident reports, and anything else that might affect your desire to buy the vehicle. Doing a basic VIN check can provide you with most of this information. You will also want to look at reviews of the dealership and their average sticker prices. The more information you have, the better your chances of finding the perfect first vehicle.


It may seem as though the hard part is over once you and your teenager have found and bought the perfect first car, but now is when you should lay down some ground rules. Inform your child about the importance of safe driving tactics and avoiding dangerous driving situations. There are numerous products on the market today that can track and monitor your child’s driving habits and report them back to you so that you can enforce good driving. You’ll also want to stress how important it is for them to keep all of the proper documentation in the car and available at all times. Some things, such as the title, are safer in your hands. The Gartner Group reports that 15% of all paper documents are misplaced, while 7.5% are lost entirely. Insurance cards, identification, registration, and the title are just a few documents that should be kept secure.

It can be a fun and exciting time hunting for your child’s first vehicle and it should be an experience that you share together. It should also be an opportunity to teach your teenager about the dangers of driving and the importance of safe driving habits. With roughly 5.5 million car accidents in the United States each year, it’s crucial that your child has the tools and the vehicle to stay safe on the road.


  1. These are really great tips on helping get your teen a car. I would do a lot of research for sure!


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