Guide To Your Teen’s First Car

Parents worry whenever their kids are behind the wheel. That makes choosing a teen’s first car stressful. Here, we offer several valuable tips to help you make the right decision when choosing your teen’s first vehicle.

Safety First

Speeding causes about one-third of fatal car crashes involving male teens and nearly one-fifth involving females. Parents must reiterate the importance of safe driving, and the vehicle’s safety features can help too. 

A few actions you can take to assess the safety of a vehicle include:

  • Looking at the crash test results for vehicles on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website
  • Inspecting the interior and exterior condition of the vehicle with a mechanic
  • Viewing the service records online and searching for possible recalls

Set a Budget

Purchasing a teen’s first car is an exciting moment. Setting expectations and staying on budget can make shopping for and buying a quality vehicle fun for both of you. Sit down and discuss how much money each of you will contribute.

Setting a budget will help your teen manage their expectations while learning more about the value of money and the car-buying process. Walk away from vehicles that don’t match your budget and safety requirements.

Discuss Continuing Expenses

The expenses of vehicle ownership are just beginning when you purchase a car. Teens must be aware of the costs of vehicle maintenance, gas, insurance premiums, car washes and everything necessary to keep their car in safe, working condition. All these costs can play a role in determining which vehicle you purchase and how much your teen needs to save for continuing expenses.

Edmunds offers an online Cost of Ownership calculator that estimates insurance premiums, depreciation, maintenance fuel costs and more. Considering all the variables is an essential part of buying a vehicle, and it will teach your teen the importance of making educated buying decisions.

Learn more about buying your teen’s first car, including tips, rules for new drivers, statistics and more by taking a look at the accompanying resource.

Infographic created by Capital Auto Auction


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