When your teenager gets their license, the first thing they’re likely going to ask is when they can get their own car. Sharing the family car is one thing, but many teens want something of their very own to help them feel more independent. Your child is going to have many questions when it comes to buying a car and will need your help during the whole process. As a parent, you want them to have something safe, reliable, and within their budget.
Set Clear Expectations and Boundaries
Before helping your teen buy their first car, you need to make sure they’re responsible enough for vehicle ownership. If they continuously break the rules and make reckless decisions, they may not be ready to go off on their own just yet. If they are very responsible and you trust them, it’s important to sit down with them and establish what expectations you have for them when they are using the vehicle. If you only want them to drive around town, if you want them home by a certain time, or whatever else makes you feel more comfortable with the idea of them driving, make them aware of your expectations and rules.
Educate on Proper Safety
Safety is something you must go over with your teen over and over again until they get it. Some extremely important tips for safety that you should go over with them include:
- Driving the speed limit
- Always use turn signals
- Avoid distractions such as cell phones
- Always focus on the road
- Avoid eating and drinking while driving
- Plan ahead
- Never get behind the wheel after drinking
You need to set an example for your teen. If you constantly do things that are unsafe, such as texting while driving or speeding, your teen may develop your bad habits, too.
Take Time to Go Over Car Insurance Coverage
Your teenager needs to be fully educated on automobile insurance. Make sure to look at car insurance online quotes to ensure you’re getting the best coverage for the best deal. Teens will have the highest premiums around, but there are many ways you can help them find a good deal. To save money, you can keep your teen on the family’s policy because it’ll cost them a lot more if they get one on their own. Driving safety courses can also help lower premiums.
Go Over Basic Car Maintenance
Even if they have the most reliable vehicle, they need to know the basics of car maintenance to keep it in good condition. Some of the most important things to teach them about should include:
- Changing oil
- How to change a flat tire
- Changing spark plugs
- Replacing a headlight or taillight
- Replacing windshield wipers
- Changing a car battery
- Changing brake pads
Teaching them the basics can help them stay calm when something goes wrong with their vehicle. It can also help them properly take care of their car so it lasts.
Figure Out a Budget
Helping your teen find ways to earn and save money can help them become more responsible. Some parents have money put aside for their child’s first car, and there is nothing wrong with that. Some parents, however, want their teen to pay for the car themselves. Whatever situation you’re in, you can help your teen set a realistic budget for buying their first car.
Having your teen out and about driving their own vehicle may seem terrifying for many parents at first. Parents worry about their children, and it’s normal to have fears. It can help both you and your teen to sit down and have a serious talk before letting them have the freedom to go wherever they want. Help them understand the importance of the rules on the road, as well as the rules you set.