Your teen has finally learned how to drive. Your son has completed driver’s education and passed the state license test. Meanwhile, you’ve checked your finances and discovered that, with proper budgeting, you can put another car in the garage.
Before you announce the good news, it’s important to think about some important considerations that can make this purchase a success:
New or Used?
Whether you buy a new or pre-owned car depends on your preference and how much you’re willing to spend, but both have their advantages. A new vehicle’s quality isn’t in question; it hasn’t been in any accidents, doesn’t have any hidden flaws, and provides some safety features, which increases your teen’s safety. Manufacturer’s warranties also come standard in new cars, offering up to three years coverage.
Used cars cost less and are cheaper to insure. With a little research and opinion from an expert, you can buy a pre-owned BMW, Mazda, Toyota, or Ford that is as good as new. A mid-size car is great for teens, according to The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, as they have an ideal mix of crash protection and maneuverability.
No matter what car you purchase, insuring your teen driver will generally increase your auto insurance rates. But there are steps you can take to make these costs as manageable as possible. One of these is choosing a safe vehicle to drive. Safer cars are less expensive to insure, as they have lower accident risks. Look for potential discounts; your teen may be eligible for some student discounts.
Choosing the right car and purchasing the right insurance are only the first steps to keeping your teen safe on the road. Setting clear rules and discussing safe driving with your teen are also important. Limit the number of passengers your teen can bring, establish a “no cellphone” policy on the road, and discuss what to do in cases of emergency.
You’re not only giving your teens a gift when you decide to buy them a car. You’re also teaching them to be more responsible.