So your teen has passed their driving tests and the hounding has begun to buy them a car. So many decisions to make, so little time. If your child is like most, they want the sportiest, most expensive car on the market. You, as an experienced driver and the holder of the purse strings know that might not be the best option for your speed happy teen. Therefore, the question becomes, what kind of car should you buy?
Should you buy your 16-18-year old a used car? Perhaps one that needs to be fixed up, but will save you money. Think about your child and how good they are with projects. If they aren’t likely to follow through on fixing it up or keeping it maintained as older cars definitely need, you might want to go with something newer. Now of course, you can buy newer used cars, but often times these are almost as expensive as new Fords or Chevrolets.
Naturally if you ask the teen, they’re going to say, “YES! Go for the new car!”, but there are definitely some drawbacks here, too. First of all, they’re more expensive and depreciate the second they’re driven off the lot. The interest rate on a new car is typically lower than a used car, but, you have to pay on it longer, too. The good thing about newer cars, domestic or foreign, is that they require less maintenance and what it does require is often covered by the warranty.
While mothers everywhere are saying, “NO! NO! NO!”, it could be a good idea for the responsible student going off to college. It doesn’t get much easier than to scoot around to classes on the bike, and the cool factor? Oh, it just doesn’t get any higher than a motorcycle. But, wrecks are often deadly and what’s a student supposed to do when it rains?
Regardless of what car you choose, be sure to do your research, finding out how well they ranked in safety tests and what the mpg runs on the street and highway. Go together with your teen, allowing them to have as much input as possible, ensuring they like the car they will call their own.