A common high school graduation book is the famous book, Oh, the Places You Will Go' by Dr. Seuss. The idea behind giving this book is so lovely, however... it's hard to go places when you don't have a car. Many teens nowadays don't have their own vehicles. With the cost of living becoming more and more expensive, many parents can't afford to take on an additional car payment, plus insurance, gas and incidentals. Many teens wind up hitching rides with friends through high school, and once graduation rolls around and it's time to head off to college, they wind up needing vehicles of their own.
Some schools don't allow underclassmen to have cars on campus, so it is a good idea to check with your child's school policies before jumping into purchasing a vehicle for them to take to school. If you child is allowed to have a car on campus, then a new car as a graduation gift is a great idea! If you're worried about the safety of your child as they head off to school, it's a great idea for parents to choose a reliable car for their child. It doesn't have to be anything that's overly expensive or flashy- a good car that it dependable is what you'll want to look for.
Consider the climate. Where will your child be going to school? If it's someplace that sees a lot of winter weather, you may want to take that into consideration as you look to purchase a vehicle. If they'll encounter ice and snow, look for something with all wheel drive, and perhaps even consider purchasing different tires for the winter time.
Great accessories to go along with a new car would be items like gift cards for gasoline, and a car maintenance notebook, which can be kept in the glove compartment. Write out a schedule for your child, so they know exactly when they need to check in for oil changes, regular services, having tires rotated, etc. You can even let friends and family members know that you plan to give them the new vehicle, and encourage them to give gifts to go along with it, like a vanity plate, monogrammed car mats, gift cards, etc.
A fantastic bonus gift would be a car maintenance kit which includes items like wiper fluid, jumper cables, wipes for the dash, and other handy items.
If you'd rather have your child's input, it would be a great experience to shop for a vehicle together. It may not be a surprise gift, but you'll have the memory of teaching your child about purchasing a vehicle. Include them in everything from shopping online or on the lot, to tags and title fees, taxes, insurance, etc. This way, they'll really get a feel for what it means to have to be responsible for a vehicle. Either way, your child will never forget the moment you gave them their first car.
Brought to you by Troy Ford.