Parenthood has its moments of bliss. The moment your little boy/girl becomes a teenager, you’re elated. Another milestone achieved. But still, even at this age, you’re always worried about their safety. Then they hit you with the “I want a car” statement. You immediately get goosebumps from the thought of them driving on their own. You hope they’ll be careful, just as you are when driving with them.
But before you even get to this point, you have first to buy them the car. Buying a car for yourself is hard enough. But buying your teenager their first car is no easy fete neither; It can be tricky.
What Should I Look For?
First off, you should be alive to the fact that you are going to buy the car for an inexperienced driver. With this in mind, the best thing is to start with a new car. There is this notion most parents have that buying a new car for your child is expensive and they settle for used vehicles. Though this might be a good idea, you should know that there is a thin line between maximizing safety and getting your money’s worth.
The used car may be “affordable” (and it’s in quotes because new cars are also affordable), but it may not be the safest. Plus, the IIHS also advises parents with means to buy their teen a new car.
No parent wants their child to drive an unsafe car. You want to make sure that they are happy, but you also need to feel comfortable knowing that they will be safe behind the wheel. Newer model cars come fitted with better safety features than their predecessors. Some cars have features that allow you to set limits on some things like radio volume, and they also forward a report on any dangerous driving activity such as speed limit violations.
The IIHS recommends a teens car should have electronic stability control (ESC) that helps drivers maintain control of the vehicle on slippery roads and curves. Other essential features include collision warning, adaptive cruise control, reversing camera, and lane-keeping assists. And they are fitted in several entry-level cars.
This is crucial when it comes to how well your teen will be able to drive the car. Let your teen test the vehicle before you buy it. Why? Because some cars have better sightlines than others. An ideal vehicle for your teen is one that they can easily see out of all the windows. If they can’t, it may be hard for them to find blind spots easily.
Distractions are some of the significant accident causes. So when choosing a car for your teenager, you should opt for vehicles with hands-free features and Bluetooth capabilities. This minimizes the risk of them texting using their hands while driving. Some of the safety features, like setting speed limits, also work well in reducing distractions.
4. Long Term Cost Efficiency
As a parent, you’d want your teenager to maintain the car. But then, the only way to make the car appealing, in the long run, is if it serves the purpose while saving the owner some extra cash. So go for a more efficient car that will help your teen save on gas down the road.
There’s one thing that people often overlook when buying teens a car; insurance. They are insured at higher rates than adults. However, if they are good in school, they are eligible for “good student” discounts. This may work to you, and your teenager’s advantage.