Buying Your Teenager Their First Car

Posted on: 7 August 2015

You have decided to buy your teenager their first car and all of a sudden you are filled with terror. Sound about right? It's interesting how differently people view things when their children are involved. Of course, you always want to be sure the vehicle you purchase is safe, but when it comes to putting your child behind the wheel, safety takes on new meaning.

Many parents choose to get a used car for their children. There's nothing wrong with that, as looks as you know how to shop for a reliable and safe used vehicle. In fact, you can almost always get a better vehicle for less money when purchasing a used car versus a new one.

Vehicle History

When possible, try to purchase a used vehicle that has had only one owner. It's easier to get the cars history when you are dealing with someone who has owned it since it was new. A few things you will want to ask are:

  • Did the vehicle get most of its miles on highway or city street driving? Highway driving is easier on vehicles.
  • Has the vehicle ever been in an accident? If so, can you see the repair receipts? In addition to asking, you will probably want to run a check on the VIN of the vehicle.
  • Ask about any major repairs and if possible to see receipts.

A car that has a history isn't necessarily bad. In fact, a new transmission or another major replacement or repair is often a good thing.

Vehicle Safety

Making sure the vehicle you buy for your teenager is safe will be your number one priority. With this in mind, start off by only look at cars that have excellent safety ratings. The easiest way to find out vehicle safety ratings is by visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety websites. Each of these sites conducts different tests. The NHTSA conducts crash tests. The IIHS rates various parts of the vehicle for crashworthiness.

Once you feel that a vehicle might be the one, have it checked out by a trusted mechanic. Do not skip this part when buying a used car. Have a mechanic drive the vehicle and check out any parts they deem necessary. A mechanic can usually get an idea about a car by driving it at different speeds on the road and highway.

Test Drive

It goes without saying that you are going to test drive the vehicles you are considering for your child. Don't forget to let them test drive them too. Everyone sits differently in a car. Your teen will need to make sure that they feel comfortable behind the wheel of the vehicle they are going to drive every day.

Lastly, have fun shopping. This is a once in a lifetime experience for both you and your child. 


how to choose a quality car

Having worked as a mechanic for about twenty years, I have learned a lot about what cars are better than others. This blog was created to help provide you with the information that you need to know to buy a car that will run well without spending too much in repairs over the first few years. I will show you all about finding the right car, how to know that the car that you are buying is in good condition and what you can do if the car that you purchase isn't quite what you had hoped that it would be.