Some parents look forward to when their teenagers learn to drive. Others are petrified. But regardless of where your personal opinions are, one of the things that you can do to create a less stressful environment in your home is if you choose to help your teenager by their first vehicle. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are buying it for them. But it does mean that you should present them with information about cars that they may not know.
A first vehicle can come in several different forms. Maybe you want your teenager to get an entry-level car. In certain places, maybe a motorcycle is the best idea. You do want to make sure that your kids understand the entire cost of the vehicle purchase, not just the initial investment. Also, the purchase of the first car is an excellent chance to talk with them about the importance of credit and debt.
Entry Level Cars
For most kids, the first car they own is going to be an entry-level one. In other words, it’s not going to be brand-new. It’s not going to be expensive. The focus will be on the cars that are safe, have a good gas mileage, and it isn’t going to be a huge issue if they get dinged or scratched. A lot of times teenagers will want more than this, but you have to figure out how to tell them why these are such vital characteristics for beginning drivers.
Depending on where you live, owning a car may not be a good option. It could be that buying a motorcycle is smarter. Perhaps bikes are easier to park in crowded areas. Or even if it’s just you suggesting to your kid that they buy a moped to get around more easily, that could be an option that is cost-effective and convenient for everyone.
Understanding Full Costs
The amount of money that you spend on a car isn’t just the initial cost of the vehicle itself. There are all sorts of additional expenses to purchasing a car. There is insurance. There is gas. There are license plate fees. All of these costs add up over time, and it’s crucial that you talk to your child about budgeting money over the long-term, rather than just assuming it will be one price at one time.
Recognizing the Importance of Credit and Debt
When your son or daughter is getting the first vehicle, it’s a good time to bring up the ideas of credit and debt. If your child does choose to buy a car that costs more money than they have, then they’ll have to take out a loan. It’s not wrong to have car payments, but it is essential to understand them, and as an adult, you should be able to pass this knowledge on.