So its that rime you are planning on buying your teen a new car, don’t jump into the whole thing without considering a number of issues first. Safety, reliability, cost effectiveness and efficiency in a car are definitely the best for your teen and it is also convenient for you too when it comes to finance.
Let’s face it, if you left the decision up to your teen, you would probably end up with either a huge SUV or a suped up sports car, neither of which is particularly safe for a young, new driver. However, there are plenty of options out there to make both you and your teen happy. And with the right research, you can find a car that is not only fun to drive, but also safe and reliable, too.
Choosing a midsize car is the best way to go, according to The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety and the Insurance Information Institute. Depending on your budget, you can opt for either a new or used model – just make sure the car is in good condition with updated safety features like airbags and electronic stability control. Also, you’ll want to check out crash test and safety ratings before making your final purchase.
Fuel efficiency is another important factor to consider, especially in today’s economy. Unless you’re willing to cover the cost of filling your son or daughter’s tank each week, buying your teen a gas guzzler is probably not a good idea.
There are a few things you must be sure of before deciding on whether to buy a new car for your teen or getting them a used one. It is okay to go for the luxurious one they want if you are able to, but if you are not well settled for the higher bid, then settling for a used one may be the only choice. Its not that bad if you go for the used one anyway, if you happen to get a certified pre-owned one, there are advantages you can enjoy as well.
“Buying a new car is insurance against breakdowns and repairs, regardless of the age or experience of the driver,” says Bob Gritzinger, executive editor of AutoWeek.com.
While you’ll get peace of mind, you’ll also pay more for that luxury — though the prices of used cars have risen in recent months — as well as more for insurance.
“A first time driver doesn’t need a new car, but of course they want one,” says Lori Mackey, president of Prosperity4Kids. “The depreciation, probability of fender benders and the price tag [means new] is not the most logical way to go.”
Financially, you are almost always better off buying used, says Jack Nerad, executive editorial director for Kelley Blue Book. “If you buy a certified pre-owned car you get the advantages of a new-car like warranty, and perhaps, better financing rates.”
You may be willing to get your teen a car by now, but the risks involved in teen driving may be a reason enough to take you aback. Teens are known to be reckless in doing things, and driving is no exception; with distractions, drinking and driving speeding and irresponsible driving being normal to them, you will need to discuss with them the benefits of safe driving.
Texting & Other Distractions
We’ll keep this one short, because we’ve covered it before—distracted driving is nothing short of a dangerous epidemic. In 2012 alone, 3,328 Americans were killed in distracted driving crashes.
Drinking and Driving
There is a small piece of good news: Teens are not drinking and driving in the same numbers they were two decades ago. In fact, the number of high-school students aged 16 and above who self-reported driving drunk fell by 54 percent.
Speeding + Reckless driving
Though speeding hasn’t always attracted the same kind of attention as other teen driving behaviors, that doesn’t make it any less of an issue: In fact, speeding is becoming more of an issue, rather than less. In 2000, it accounted for 30 percent of fatal teen crashes; in 2011, 33 percent.