Your teenager passing their driving test is a major milestone not only in their life but in yours. Suddenly your teen has gained their independence in a massive way and is desperate for their own car. Having an initial discussion with them about how this is going to be financed both in terms of buying the car and paying the running costs is the first step towards deciding whether this is definitely the right time for them to take this step. Once you have both established that buying a car is definitely on the cards, here are a few essential things you need to consider.
Insuring a teen on their first car can be expensive. They are a newly qualified driver with all the risks that are associated with that, plus the mere fact of their youth means they are viewed as higher risk. Consider putting your teen on your own insurance as an additional driver but beware that your hard won no claims bonus could go out the window if your teen were to get into a scrape. It is worth weighing this up to decide if it’s worth it, or shelling out to get them their own insurance.
Consider used over new
Buying a brand new car for a newly qualified driver seems crazy, unless money is no object. Knocks and scrapes are likely to happen as your teen gets used to not only driving but parking their car so looking at used cars makes a lot of sense. While your teen may have their heart set on the latest model, it is likely that you will be footing the bill for most if not all of their driving expenses. There are some great options out there that are just a few years old with good safety ratings and plenty of modern features.
Encouraging your teen to pay for at least some of the costs associated with their new car is a great way to ensure they take greater responsibility for and care of their vehicle. If they can’t afford to contribute towards the car itself, giving them the responsibility of paying for their own petrol each month and even part of the insurance costs is a great way to teach them the value of money. Paying for everything for them outright only shields them from what it means to be an adult and pay their own way.
Teaching your teen the basics about car maintenance gives them greater responsibility for the care of their vehicle. Covering the basics such as tyre pressure, checking fluid levels and oil change means you won’t constantly be asked to help with these minor things and gives them a greater understanding of how to keep their car safe. Encouraging them to keep their car clean both inside and out will preserve the life of their vehicle and continue to drill in those good habits you have been trying to instill with keeping their bedrooms tidy!
Follow these great steps and your teen will be on the road safely and independently in no time.