You have a new teen driver in the family- congratulations! This is a wonderful milestone for both children and their parents. Chances are, so have done your fair share of instructing your child in safe and proper driving, and now they're ready to head out on the road on their own, after you've found a safe car for them to drive, of course.
Here are some simple steps to take toward finding a safe, reliable car for your new driver.
First things first- who will pay for the car?
Have an open and honest discussion with your teen, regarding your expectations, if you will noe be financing the car for them, or buying/giving them a car to drive. Will it be their responsibility to make monthly payments to you, and/or to pay for their own insurance? Many parents who help teens purchase their first car, often insist that the teen has a job to at least pay the car insurance, and perhaps even tax, title, fees on the vehicle. Once you have come to an agreement/understanding, it's time to start looking at cars.
Do your homework.
Depending on who will be financing this new purchase, find out if you have enough for a hefty down payment on the vehicle. 20% down is fairly standard. If you can't make a sizeable down payment, you may want to reconsider leasing vs. owning. If you feel that you are able to make or help your teen make a purchase, it's then time to weigh the option of new vs. pre-owned. Be sure to think about your teen, their driving habits, and the cost of insurance when making this important decision.
Go for the basics.
Instead of opting for all othe bells and whistles new vehicle are equipt with, you may want to look for something mor ebare bones for your teen. While there are several features that might be helpful, like back-up assist, etc., too many features can be a distraction. You know your child best, so think of their level of resposibility as you make this decision- together.
Take a test drive.
The best way to know whether or not a vehicle will be a good fit for your new driver, will be for you to go along with them for a test drive. Make sure that they feel comfortable in the vehicle, are familiar with the way everything works, and be sure to check out the safety features, as well. No fancy stereo system is more important than your child's safety.
Once you have selected an appropriate vehicle for your teen, don't forget to sit down and have one last heart to heart about the dangers of distracted driving. There are still many states where it is legal to talk on the phone while driving. Make your own rules for your teen to follow, and be sure to follow through with the consequences, if they break a rule. Keeping the driver and passengers safe is of utmost importance.
This post brought to you by Audi Peoria.