Just yesterday you were waiting for her to get off the bus and now it’s time to buy a car. For most parents, it’s a pretty scary thought. Follow these recommendations from the professionals and you’ll have a new set of keys in hand in no time.
Assuming your teenager has already had driver’s education and is knows the rules of the road, it’s presumably safe to make the first car purchase. So often, it’s not a question of if the teen will have an accident, but when. One thing that’s not taught in driver’s education courses are step by step instruction on what to do when there’s an accident. Adrenaline will be flowing and quite possibly injuries will be sustained, but carefully review these steps with your new driver.
Heading to a car lot is as exciting as getting ready for senior prom. With a Groupon coupon in hand, your daughter heads to the hair salon to prepare for a night of memories. Before heading to the car lot, have a checklist in hand. What’s your maximum budget? Is your teen responsible for gas, insurance and car payments? What’s the maximum age and mileage of the car that you’re comfortable with? Zero in on a few makes and models before heading out. Often the dealers won’t allow someone under 18 to test drive, so it may well be up to the parent.
Finally, with keys in hand, make sure your teen understands that driving is a privilege, not a right. It comes with huge responsibilities. Will they have to maintain a certain grade point average or part time job? What are the curfew restrictions? Each of these items needs to be addressed and agreed upon before the keys are handed over. Take a deep breath and let the enjoy the ride.