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Buying a car counts as one of the most important milestones your teen will experience. Understandably, you’re probably as nervous about it as your son or daughter is excited. However, buying a vehicle doesn’t need to be the cause of undue angst if it’s done right. If your teen is in the process of getting a new car, here are just a few things for you to keep in mind:
Financial expert and guru Dave Ramsey points out that there are three options when it comes to your teen getting his/her first car. The first option is that they can buy their own car. The second is that you can buy the car. The third option is that you could go “halfsies”. All are viable options. However, Ramsey cautions parents against buying their teens a car outright. This is because a decent used car can be purchased for about $6,000. Ramsey also recommends that parents teach their children to save up for that.
If the thought of saving up $6,000 feels overwhelming to your teen, it helps to break the numbers down. Getting a job that pays $8 or $10 for 10 hours a week will buy that car in about two-year’s time. After school jobs don’t have to include a stint at the fast-food joint, even though that is an option. Sometimes, it pays as much—and with fewer hassles—to mow lawns or babysit for that amount of time.
Once your teenager is ready to buy a car and to finance it, have them look at the different ways to save money if that’s still an issue. Some car dealerships, such as Milton Ruben Toyota, offer substantial discounts and rebates for young people. In this case, recent college graduates can get a rebate to go toward their first new car. College graduate or not, there are deals for young people—especially those purchasing their very first car—out there and it would definitely be in your teen’s best interest to help them to find them.
It probably goes without saying that no car is a good deal if it’s not safe. When it does finally come time to purchase that car, go with your teen to look the vehicle over (and to provide moral support if he/she encounters a pushy seller). Make sure you look at features like locking doors, working brakes, and functioning air bags. If any aspect of the car gives you pause, move on.
Buying a car can be an intimidating experience for some teens. It can also feel intimidating for you if that teen happens to be your teen. Hopefully, however, the above tips are useful to you when it comes time to help your son or daughter get their first car.