It’s back-to-school time and many parents are considering buying their teen their first car. This is both exciting and terrifying. You worry, not only because of their inexperience, but because of other drivers and their bad habits. Picking out a car can be difficult. Your teen wants a cool ride, while you’re on the hunt for a cool price tag. There are a dizzying array of safety features, tracking systems and car-assist functions that make it difficult to decide what’s necessary and what’s an expensive add-on.
While a Driver’s Education course is a requirement to get a permit in Louisiana, it is important that you make sure your teen takes this seriously. Plus, it can save money on insurance rates. Your teen’s most powerful influence is you. Be aware of your own driving behaviors. If you speed, tailgate, text or yell at others on the road, there’s a greater chance your child will do the same thing.
While your teen may want flashy colors, big engines and room for lots of kids, research shows that the risk of a crash increases with multiple kids in the car. Throw in an engine designed for speeding and you have a recipe for disaster. Look for a car that is big enough to provide crash protection, an engine that won’t break the sound barrier and one that a teen won’t be too excited to show off to their friends. Big, boring, slow -- safety before vanity, sorry, not sorry, teens.
Of course, your teen wants the latest style, BUT, there are some things to consider.
New vehicles are more reliable, cost less to maintain initially, come with the latest features, can be customized and usually have a bumper-to-bumper warranty.
The biggest upside for a used vehicle is economic. Most cost less than a new one. Insurance cost are lessened. Be sure to have it checked before you buy.
While the choice is up to you, most financial experts recommend buying your teen a used vehicle within reason. A vehicle between 3 and 5 years old will come with a more affordable price tag and still include effective safety technology.
Chances are you will never be completely ready to send your child off on their own in a car, but that time will come none the less. It may help a little to know that you helped them get the skills they need to feel confident behind the wheel, provided them with the safest vehicle possible and taught them to appreciate the privilege of driving.
www.bankrate.com; www.scarymommy.com; www.goauto.ca/blog
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