parenting

Shopping Tips: How To Buy a Car for a Teenager

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Picking the right car for your teenage son or daughter can be a daunting task. There are many different points to consider, and your teenager may or may not agree with the decisions that you make. However, as the person with more experience with cars, not to mention experience with life itself, the parent must at least provide a healthy dose of input, if not make the decision unilaterally.

Tips for Choosing the Right Car for Your Teen

Here are a couple of points that you should consider when choosing the right car for your teenager:

Price Range

First, you must decide on a price range. This is probably the best first step in any major purchase, though with a teenager involved, it becomes even more important to set boundaries right from the beginning.

Will the teen be contributing any money to the purchase price? Do they have a job? If so, do they have the work ethic to make a car payment? If no one can afford a car payment, is there someone in the family that will be able to work on the vehicle? A $2000 budget can go a long way if there's a mechanic in the family. Otherwise, that same amount of money might be better spent on a down payment on a loan, if someone in the family has good enough credit to obtain one. All of this must be considered before deciding on a final price range.

Driving Ability

Next, you must decide how much you trust your teen's driving ability. According to studies, teenagers are the most dangerous drivers on the road. Handing them a high-powered, rear-wheel drive sports car is not going to help their odds of having a trouble-free first few years. As a general rule of thumb, rear-wheel drive cars are more dangerous in the hands of the inexperienced than front wheel drive.

Also, consider whether your teen can and should be allowed to drive a manual transmission. Although manuals do provide more control, when one is new to driving, manually shifting requires a higher level of concentration. If your teenager learned to drive with a stick, it's probably safe to add cars with manual transmissions to the list of those to consider. Otherwise, sticking with an automatic is probably a safer choice.

These are just a few of the things that should be considered before purchasing a car for your teenager. Though there will certainly be other things to think about, these points are probably the most important, and should allow you to quickly narrow your list of potential cars to a manageable level.

What influenced you when you made your first car purchase? Or when you helped your teen purchase his or her first car? How can you teach your teenager to be a safe driver?

Ken is an automotive blogger, who writes for a cash for junk cars company. The company helps individuals sell cars. He speaks from experience, as he has witnessed many parents purchasing cars for there teenagers.

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