It seems like only yesterday that your child beamed with pride as they learned to ride a bike. Now the time has come to buy your child their first car. Where did those years go?
Your child is becoming an adult before your eyes and they are getting better at the game of life. But bear in mind that they are also still a kid with lower impulse control, poor concentration, and a lack of experience behind the wheel. There is a chance they’re going to have some difficulty driving. Although teen drivers make up just 6.5 percent of the population, they account for 8.4 percent of total motor vehicle injury costs.
It’s normal to feel anxious, and the numbers show you’re right to be concerned about seeing your son or daughter drive off for the first time. However, there are ways to protect your family by finding the best car service and getting an extended motor vehicle services warranty.
Your Teen’s First Car: What to Look For
Before considering cost, color, or the entertainment system, you’ll want to think about safety. You help your child prepare for driving and you want to protect them. A great resource is the National Highway Traffic Safety Association’s (NHTSA’s) vehicle safety ratings. This information can reveal surprising results and equip you with information on the car with the best safety profiles.
Safety features go well beyond the strength of the chassis. Some modern cars come with radar equipment and cameras that can help your child avert a crash. Furthermore, anti-lock brakes and airbags — considered luxuries in the past — are now more affordable. Remember to check for safety features on the specifications sheet your auto dealer shares with you. Don’t assume that every car has the same safety features.
Look at your budget and come up with the realistic figure you are willing to pay. Then see what you can get for your money on the used market. However, keep in mind that newer cars generally have better safety profiles. You will need to balance cost with what protections you want for your teenager.
You likely don’t want your child to have the fastest car of all the kids in school. A vehicle with the best gas mileage and the lowest service bills is much more your speed. Finances may be tough for your children as they start out, so it’s good to teach them now that a gas guzzler is not the way to go when there are bills to pay.
If you’re buying a used car, get a full vehicle report to check it hasn’t been in a major accident before. Also, check SaferCar.gov or the NHTSA website to see if the car has been recalled for a defect — that happens more often than you might think. If the car needs a major fix, even if it’s on the manufacturer’s dime, it might be easier to walk away and buy another car.
Reviews can be a minefield of contradictory information, especially for older cars that have had time to show their true colors and develop faults that weren’t covered by a warranty. Simply look for the known faults, calculate the potential repair bills, and decide if it’s a good investment to buy the car without an extended warranty.
Also, look for reviews with the cost of ownership included. Older luxury cars can be cheap to buy and run, until you get stuck with an expensive repair.
Protecting the Car That Protects Your Child
Your child is growing up, but they’re still your baby. Do your best to protect them with the safest car you can afford in addition to getting an extended warranty from Protect My Car.
Giving your child their first car is both exciting and nerve wracking. But having extended warranty can give you peace of mind as your teen explores the open road.