Buying a car for my daughter

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby Imbros » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:27 pm

Sell BMW to me if you are in Midwest (I have been looking for a clean 2001+ E46 for a while :) )
Buy her a cheaper econobox and make her study/work for a luxury level car. I don't want to sound mean but if you are rewarding her with an entry level luxury car for getting a driver licence now, what will you give her when she graduates from college? a yacht?

I am probably one of the youngest bogleheads around here and, in general, I do not understand rewarding teenagers with luxury items. Yes, they should be rewarded, but not with luxury items. So they can have things to long for that would motivate them later in life.
Imbros
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:41 am

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby offtocolorado » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:40 pm

First off who said anything about rewarding my daughter? We are talking about a 12 year old car that is basically being passed down in the family. I don't car what logo the car carries, its a friggin car! What I do care about is that I put my child in a vehicle that is safe...safe for her if she screws up and safe for her if someone else screws up. I'm amazed at how some folks turned this thread into a question of parental decisions. Give me a break... :annoyed
offtocolorado
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:19 pm

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby stoptothink » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:20 pm

offtocolorado wrote:First off who said anything about rewarding my daughter? We are talking about a 12 year old car that is basically being passed down in the family. I don't car what logo the car carries, its a friggin car!


Agree with the sentiment, but to be fair $8k (or a new car altogether) isn't exactly "being passed down." Even with the cheaper option that's more than some of us have ever spent on a car, myself included. Regardless of what you choose she is going to be driving a very nice vehicle for a 16yr old. It's your money and totally agree that her safety should be your first priority.
stoptothink
 
Posts: 1213
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:53 am

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby livesoft » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:01 pm

... but a 16 year old needs a car that gets good gas mileage because they drive around town a lot.

I found this reasoning very amusing. A 16-year-old with no car does not drive around town a lot.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
livesoft
 
Posts: 32677
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:00 pm

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby hicabob » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:12 pm

a classic 6-inline beemer in nice shape w/ all modern safety gizmos & with 30k miles for 8 thou is a fine deal for the right person - nice safe car with some performance.
Worst case - you can sell it for same. Is it right for your daughter? I don't know but I'd bet the girl would like it.
hicabob
 
Posts: 1683
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 6:35 pm
Location: cruz

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby Hexdump » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:38 am

We did something similar for our son with a proviso.
If he made the honor role through high school, we would buy him a new car upon graduation.

He did and we did and it was a 2003 Toyota Corolla and importantly, a stick shift.
He hated it at the time but thanks me now.
Oh yeah, he also now owns a Corvette. :D

Good luck
User avatar
Hexdump
 
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:28 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby TomatoTomahto » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:49 am

offtocolorado wrote:First off who said anything about rewarding my daughter? We are talking about a 12 year old car that is basically being passed down in the family. I don't car what logo the car carries, its a friggin car! What I do care about is that I put my child in a vehicle that is safe...safe for her if she screws up and safe for her if someone else screws up. I'm amazed at how some folks turned this thread into a question of parental decisions. Give me a break... :annoyed

I had a thread a while ago that devolved into calling me a sociopath who had no concern for pedestrians, all because I felt that, everything else being equal, a heavier car would be safer for my teen than a lighter car. Get the safest car for your child that you can afford. Your child's auto is not a decision that calls for stubborn cheapness, but to a great extent, that is what you'll get here on this issue.

PS also don't ever mention that you'd happily pay for an Ivy League education :D
User avatar
TomatoTomahto
 
Posts: 2621
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:48 pm

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby offtocolorado » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:28 pm

Tomatoe & Hexdump........

Thank you for the postitive post! :beer

Like you I'm not knew to the 16 year olds. Several years back we bought my son his first car and in a couple years he will be finishing his doctorate program! As long as my daughter follows the rules and respects the fact that this will be my car that I allow her to use, we are good to go. We live in the country so walking or public transportation is not an option. A vehicle will allow her to work in town, teach her responsibility and provide some freedoms. If the freedoms are taken advantage of, things will change.
offtocolorado
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:19 pm

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby TomatoTomahto » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:53 pm

offtocolorado wrote:Tomatoe & Hexdump........

Thank you for the postitive post! :beer

Like you I'm not knew to the 16 year olds. Several years back we bought my son his first car and in a couple years he will be finishing his doctorate program! As long as my daughter follows the rules and respects the fact that this will be my car that I allow her to use, we are good to go. We live in the country so walking or public transportation is not an option. A vehicle will allow her to work in town, teach her responsibility and provide some freedoms. If the freedoms are taken advantage of, things will change.


You're very welcome. Regarding freedom, I have been amazed with my 4 kids and those of my friends how most of the time, kids will live up to (and down to) your expectations. Being teenagers, they're partly insane, but they are also walking talking examples of what they've internalized from watching you, for better and worse.

Kids eventually become free. They're better off if they've had a chance to experience incremental freedom with an attentive adult eye on them. The best of luck to you and your daughter (and your son; my daughter is finishing her PhD thesis and I know how much work and stress is involved).
User avatar
TomatoTomahto
 
Posts: 2621
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:48 pm

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby Dulocracy » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:45 pm

wageoghe wrote:
Dulocracy wrote:DO NOT BUY NEW. I never had an accident in High School, yet my car was hit 5 times and got lots of door dings. Also, jealous High School students have been known to vandalize nicer cars. Why? Stupidity. My parents got a reliable 4 year old car for me.

PUT THE CAR IN HER NAME. If she has an accident, you get sued. A client of mine had a child who accidentally killed someone in a car wreck. He was not driving too fast; it was a mistake in judgment. Still, their savings and assets are now on the table because the car was in the name of the father. Avoid the liability: put the car in her name.


I'm not 100% sure it is straightforward as this. Maybe it is, I just don't know. When our daughter was on our auto policy she had several at fault accidents (rear end, backed into someone) and several instances of striking immovable objects (light pole in parking lot, curb). Eventually, our insurance carrier (USAA - home, auto, umbrella) jacked our auto rates and non-renewed our umbrella policy. They did give us access to a third party umbrella policy, but it cost 3X the USAA underwritten umbrella policy and required higher coverages on all of our cars. I asked about moving her to her own policy, but, at least for the umbrella, she had to be considered as a "driver" as long as she lived at home and/or school. I didn't ask about how putting her on her own auto policy would help our auto policy, because I was looking for a holistic insurance solution and was not inclined to shop for a new insurance carrier at the time.

Long story short, we could not "hide" our daughter behind a separate auto insurance policy and still maintain a more desirable umbrella policy.

When she did eventually come off our policy, our auto and umbrella rates dropped by $1100 per year!


I apologize. I did not take enough time. Put the title of the vehicle in her name. You can still put her under the same insurance policy, but put the title of the vehicle in her name. The idea is not that a separate policy will help. To the contrary, that just adds cost. In most states, when there is an auto accident, you can sue BOTH the driver and the owner. This means dear old dad gets sued. Even if they had $100,000 in coverage, what happens when the lawsuit is for $5,000,000 for the loss of someone's son? The point is not the insurance, but that the ownership of the vehicle itself is important. As an attorney, I have friends who have done PI work (Personal Injury). While I hate the stuff myself, I hear stories of how they found the deep pockets of a company or parent to sue, as they were the owner of the vehicle. A judgment of seven figures can ruin someone's financial life and either force them into bankruptcy or worse- be of the type that cannot be bankrupt against (for example: intentional harm). For that reason, I advise all of my clients to put the car in the child's name. Of course, law varies from state to state, but I would want to play it safe.
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.
Dulocracy
 
Posts: 747
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:03 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby wageoghe » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:45 pm

Dulocracy,

Thanks for taking the time to come back and clarify. What you say makes sense to me (as a layman). For us, the point is moot because our daughter is now on her own with car and policy both in her name and our insurance policies are considerably less burdened. Maybe some others will find this information useful as they navigate the treacherous waters that come with young drivers.
User avatar
wageoghe
 
Posts: 247
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 9:28 am
Location: Northern Alabama

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby MnD » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:51 pm

An BMW 6-cylinder RWD would not be my choice for a 16-YO driver.
It has a lot of performance and handling capability that teen drivers will make full use of.
Cost of maintenance and mechanical repairs is high as is body work following any accidents.
Teens park cars in sketchy places that adults wouldn't so vandalism and theft seem like a concern for a BMW.
RWD are not good in snow/ice if that's a possibility.

Why is it this car - or a new or near-new Prius or Civic? Chances are whatever she gets is going to get dinged up at least.
How about a nice used Saturn wagon or Corolla 4-cylinder 2004-05 era?
Beggars can't be choosers and boring, slow and dull with the bulk of depreciation behind it is often a good thing with a teen behind the wheel.
MnD
 
Posts: 2204
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:41 pm

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby Dave76 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:59 pm

An old, cheap car should be good enough for a teenager who's just driving around locally. A friend of mine had a '77 Plymouth Volare, which proved to be a safe and dependable car. I don't see any reason to go overboard.

What happened to the paperboy and babysitter who saved up some cash and bought a car with it? Parents have gotten so weird! I bought a car in 2010 for $900. That car was my daily driver for quite some time. I still use it.
Dave76
 
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:05 pm

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby reggiesimpson » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:25 pm

1997 Lincoln Town car. Pick one up for a few thousand and is the closest to a tank you can find. For me there are no other concerns for a 16 yo driver.
reggiesimpson
 
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:47 pm

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby cb474 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:50 am

I don't have an opinion about all the ins and outs of this choice, but if you do decide to buy something other than the BMW, this is a good site for reliability statistics (much better than Consumer Reports or J.D. Power):

http://www.truedelta.com/

They are trying to do something much more scientific than what Consumer Reports and J.D. Power do (and have a critique of what's wrong with both of their rating systems).

What I've noticed from their findings, may be a little obvious, but there really are no cars that compare to Honda and Toyota for reliability (and their luxury counterparts Acura and Lexus, as well as Toyota's Scion brand). European cars have two to three times the number of repair trips per year. American cars are the same. Other Japanese makes are okay, but not as good.

The other thing you can track on the site is how a particular model does as it gets older. Pretty much all cars are very reliable in the first couple years, but after that they start dropping off like flies. That's where the Toyotas and Hondas really shine.

Also, I think you really want a car that has side curtain airbags, in addition to the usual ones. The 2002 BMW may not have that. It's probably the most important safety technology since front airbags, which only protect you in a head on collision. In a side impact collision, the side curtain airbags protect your head from whiplashing into the side window. This can be the difference between scrapes or broken bones vs. brain damage. It's really not a trivial feature.

Hope that's helpful.
cb474
 
Posts: 712
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:32 am

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby wageoghe » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:22 am

Dave76 wrote:An old, cheap car should be good enough for a teenager who's just driving around locally. A friend of mine had a '77 Plymouth Volare, which proved to be a safe and dependable car. I don't see any reason to go overboard.

What happened to the paperboy and babysitter who saved up some cash and bought a car with it? Parents have gotten so weird! I bought a car in 2010 for $900. That car was my daily driver for quite some time. I still use it.


Volares are nice, especially the "rich corinthian leather".

You might also consider a Pacer or Gremlin.

Stay away from Pintos and Corvairs.
User avatar
wageoghe
 
Posts: 247
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 9:28 am
Location: Northern Alabama

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby cb474 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:10 pm

Man, my parents had a 77' Volare, which they bought new, and it was the worst car they ever had. In fact, I thought it was famous for being a crappy car? In the first couple years of ownership (after which they got rid of it) it had to have the carburetor replaced, a bunch of other basic engine elements that I can't remember, and they finally decided it wasn't safe when my mother opened the driver's door one day and it fell off. Apparently the factory had neglected to put nuts on the ends of the bolts holding the door in place and the bolts had slowly worked their way out.

In the end, I'm not sure that the logic of a old heavy car being safer is true anymore. As I note above, advancements like side curtain airbags provide a level of protection that just doesn't exist in older cars. And obviously antilock brakes (and things like stability control) are significant also. It's certainly true that a heavier car is always safer than a lighter one, but I think you still want a more modern heavy car with side curtain airbags, etc.

And with a sixteen year old daughter reliability is also a potential safety issue. You don't want her stuck somewhere on the side of the road, alone, at night. (The OP mentions that they live in the country.) I'd say, if you want a larger car that's not going to excite a teenager, go for a couple year old Camry that has the side curtain airbags. That will be heavier, have all the modern safety items, and be reliable.
cb474
 
Posts: 712
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:32 am

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby tractorguy » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:14 pm

I've got starter cars for my 4 daughters and drive a BMW myself. I would not let a new driver, especially a teenage new driver near it. My reasons are:
1) You should plan on a 50/50 chance that your daughter will have a significant accident in the first year of driving, most likely in the first few months. My 4 daughters had 3 accidents within the first two years of driving. One car was totaled and another should have been. As others have said, BMW parts are very expensive so any repairs on an accident are going to be high.
2) BMW's are too cool. You want something very boring like a Chevy Malibu or a Toyota Camry. (preferably 4 cylinder cars). Preferably, it should be ugly and she should be ashamed to be seen in it. This is primarily to keep other teenagers out of it. A lot of the really bad accidents with teens happen when there is a car load of them egging each other on.
3) A BMW (any age) is going to be a magnet for all of the boys in your daughter's school. All of them will want to drive it and prove that they are a budding Michael Shoemacker. You don't want them to wrap it around a tree with her in the passenger seat.

Take a look at cars.com for your area and look for cars that are $8000 and less. I found a lot of reasonable (<50K miles) cars in the Chicago area for significantly less than $8K. I'd look for an intermediate sized 4 door sedan with a full set of air bags and good safety ratings.
Lorne
User avatar
tractorguy
 
Posts: 373
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 7:32 pm
Location: Chicago Suburb

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby tadamsmar » Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:58 pm

Dave76 wrote:
b4nash wrote:I would make sure the vehicle has electronic stability control.

http://www.iihs.org/ratings/esc/esc.aspx


I have a car with electronic stability control and I don't think it works very well. I think it's an expensive and overrated feature.


Field data (on the actual fleet of cars on the road) indicate that stability control prevents 1/3 of fatalities. That makes it the most important non-retrofittable safety feature in history, with the possible exception of the collapsible steering wheel. It's standard on all vehicles as of the 2012 model year, but the OP seems to be looking around in the small used market so he might end up without it.

It only cost the automaker $200 to $300, assuming ABS as a precondition. But back when it was optional some automakers only packaged it with a trim and did not sell it as a standalone option and that made it expensive to the buyer.
User avatar
tadamsmar
 
Posts: 6067
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 1:33 pm

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby Dave76 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:58 pm

tadamsmar wrote:
Dave76 wrote:
b4nash wrote:I would make sure the vehicle has electronic stability control.

http://www.iihs.org/ratings/esc/esc.aspx


I have a car with electronic stability control and I don't think it works very well. I think it's an expensive and overrated feature.


Field data (on the actual fleet of cars on the road) indicate that stability control prevents 1/3 of fatalities. That makes it the most important non-retrofittable safety feature in history, with the possible exception of the collapsible steering wheel. It's standard on all vehicles as of the 2012 model year, but the OP seems to be looking around in the small used market so he might end up without it.



But how much of that field data is poorly substantiated and politically motivated data?
Dave76
 
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:05 pm

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

Postby stoptothink » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:54 pm

Dave76 wrote:
tadamsmar wrote:
Dave76 wrote:
b4nash wrote:I would make sure the vehicle has electronic stability control.

http://www.iihs.org/ratings/esc/esc.aspx


I have a car with electronic stability control and I don't think it works very well. I think it's an expensive and overrated feature.


Field data (on the actual fleet of cars on the road) indicate that stability control prevents 1/3 of fatalities. That makes it the most important non-retrofittable safety feature in history, with the possible exception of the collapsible steering wheel. It's standard on all vehicles as of the 2012 model year, but the OP seems to be looking around in the small used market so he might end up without it.



But how much of that field data is poorly substantiated and politically motivated data?


You certainly love your old car, and aren't going to be told otherwise.
stoptothink
 
Posts: 1213
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:53 am

Previous

Return to Personal Consumer Issues

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AlD, Bing [Bot], dratkinson, Gattamelata, SorenK and 41 guests