Helping Your Teen Choose Their First Car


First Car Purchase: Helping Your Teen Choose Their First Car

There will come a time in your child’s life when he or she will purchase their very first car. For some teens, this happens as soon as you’re legally able to drive. For others, it means saving money and making a first purchase after you’ve shared the family vehicle and had some years of driving experience behind you. No matter what situation your child may be in, it’s your job as a parent to help your child pick the right vehicle and teach them the importance of making a great decision. Use these tips below to help your teen choose their very first car.

Help them prepare for the investment.

Sometimes kids can assume money grows on trees, so you need to educate your child early on what the investment will mean. For instance, if your child is paying cash for their first car, then you’ll want to ensure they have saved enough money for a vehicle they like. If your child is going to make payments on a vehicle, you want to ensure they know how important making that monthly payment will be to their future credit.

When purchasing a vehicle, your teen needs to understand there are extra fees and taxes that come with making a purchase. If your child has $3,000 saved for a vehicle, you’ll want them to know they cannot purchase a vehicle with $3,000 price tag. Instead, they’ll want to lower their price to about $2500 so they can afford to cover the taxes and fees with their purchase.

In addition to actually paying for the car, you’ll want your child to know that there are other expenses associated with the car. For instance, you’ll need to have car insurance on the vehicle, and your teen will also need to fill the car with gas. These are obviously expenses you can work out with your child, but it’s still important for you to educate them on these expenses early so they’re prepared for them.

Help them make a good choice in vehicle.

Your teen is going to be inundated with choices when it comes to finding a vehicle. As a parent, it’s important you help them pick a reliable and safe vehicle. This means you need to go with them when they look at vehicles and be there for the test drive. Be sure to do your due diligence and check to see the history of the vehicle, which includes looking for unibody damage, flood damage, and anything else that could make the car not worth the money.

It’s also your job to ensure the vehicle is safe. This means looking at safety features that come with the vehicle, which includes seat belts and driver assistance technology. Your teen may be more interested in things like technology and the way the vehicle looks, but it’s up to you to make sure that safety is a priority.

When helping your child make this purchase, it’s important for you to not just look for yourself, but you also need to teach them what to look for. This way, when it comes time for them to make their own purchase without you, they will know exactly what to look for and can ensure they continue making a smart investment as they get older.

Help them negotiate.

Everyone knows that vehicle prices can be negotiated, and your teen probably doesn’t know how to do that. Whether you’re buying from a dealership or you’re buying from an owner, it’s important for you to help your child negotiate the price on his/her vehicle. This means being there to ensure your child doesn’t spend all their hard-earned money on a vehicle that’s not worth it. Be sure to help your child look into other models of the same style so you can determine which is a fair price. Then, help them talk with the owner or the dealer to help knock some money down off the price. This will not only help your child keep some money in the bank, but it will also help your child learn a valuable life lesson.

If you don’t want to deal with haggling for the right price, then you’re better off going to a dealership that doesn’t allow you to haggle.

When your teen is about to drive, there will be a lot you need to do, and helping them purchase a vehicle that is safe and at the right price is one of the most important parts.


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