Son's first car

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temco_rep
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Son's first car

Post by temco_rep » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:11 pm

Looking for some advice on a first car for my son, turning 17 soon.
Hopefully next week he'll hear about his first job. He'll need his first car.
I'm having a hard time deciding how much to spend. He's just anxious to get anything.What I thought I would do is look for a car with approx 80,000 to 100,000 miles and budget around 3,000 to 5,000. I did find a few in the area that I'm going to research soon. How did you handle your children's first car? Did you buy it for them with your money?
I may pitch in half and sell a few shares of his UGMA stocks to cover the rest.
thanks!

livesoft
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Re: Son's first car

Post by livesoft » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:13 pm

My kids don't have cars yet and they are older than your son. One walks to work while the other rides a bike.

But rather than buy a car, I would give my kid one of our existing cars and go buy a new car for myself. What kind of cars do you drive now?
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NYerinLondon
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Re: Son's first car

Post by NYerinLondon » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:22 pm

I think it's important to instill a sense of 'ownership' in the car. That will make him stay on top of maintenance and take pride in its appearance and operation. The best way to accomplish this is for him to have some amount of true ownership. If he does not have savings now, you could potentially structure part of the purchase as a loan that he pays back to you with the earnings from his first job. You may also wish to have him research the car, prices, etc., i.e., own the process of buying the car within certain parameters.

In terms of price and type of car, that sounds reasonable for a first car. The used car market is a little tight right now, but you should be able to find something in that range. I might recommend Toyota / Honda / Subaru for long term reliability for the era you will likely be buying. Without further information (Winter conditions; daily driving distances; urban/ suburban/ rural) I can't get much more specific.

Good luck!

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rob
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Re: Son's first car

Post by rob » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:36 pm

Years ago - My parents gave me 1/3, lent me 1/3 that I payed back to them with no interest and I paid for the last 1/3 (from part time & summer jobs). I paid expenses going forward.... and it was a real eye opener :shock:

I will likely do something similar in a few years when the topic comes up for me.....
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sans souliers
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Re: Son's first car

Post by sans souliers » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:15 pm

Please -- don't contribute a penny.

Let your son express himself as a man and buy his first car on his own.

But DO get involved in helping to choose the first car. Learn about each other in the process. Make sure it's a hot car.

I broke my leg at 18 and couldn't drive my stick shift '66 Triumph Spitfire (red, of course) for 3 months.

We traded - he got his first speeding ticket driving my car - I never told Mom. I had to drive his Chrysler wagon. I remember the sound of that starter even today.

Good memories.
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investingdad
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Re: Son's first car

Post by investingdad » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:21 am

My kids are still 8 years away minimum, but I can tell you that my parents made me pay for my own car and pay for insurance. Insurance was the real eye opener. If nothing else, I'd suggest having your son get his own policy. Nothing serves as a wake-up call as immediate finacial repurcussions in the form of hiked insurance costs.

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tadamsmar
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Re: Son's first car

Post by tadamsmar » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:48 am

1. Consumer reports (CR) did a pretty good job here:

"The best bet is to buy the newest, most reliable model with the most safety equipment you can afford."

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012 ... /index.htm

2. You can set up a search of cars.com with "stability control" as an "exact phrase" keyword. You will probably find some cars with electronic stability control (ESC) for less than 5000 with less than 100,000 miles. ESC alone accounts for >%80 of modern equipment-related safety gains. Side air bags are also good if you can get them. Check here for more about getting a used car with ESC:

http://epicurusgarden.blogspot.com/2011 ... h-esc.html

3. You should check if all the cars you own have ABS. Emergency braking procedures are entirely different, basically opposite, for ABS vs non-ABS vehicles. They provide some classroom training on both procedures in NC, but not sure about other states.

4. This is a good web site on teaching a teen to drive:

http://teendriving.statefarm.com/

InvestingNoviceDoc
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Re: Son's first car

Post by InvestingNoviceDoc » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:52 am

Old, beater, reliable Honda or Toyota. That would be my suggestion. I don't think there's an issue with giving a 17 year old a car like this. Or as someone else said if you want to have fun, give the kid your old car and buy something new for yourself.

LordB
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Re: Son's first car

Post by LordB » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:08 am

My opinion is buy him the cheapest car you can. Odds are pretty good it will end up crashed/damaged. Unfortunately these days $2000 seems to be about the cheapest you can get.

My first car 10 years ago had both side mirrors duct taped on after I had owned it for 6 months and the front bumper was askew. Not caring about fixing those properly saved me $$$ and once I stopped constantly crashing into things I got a nicer car.

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Hexdump
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Re: Son's first car

Post by Hexdump » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:45 am

In 2001, what we bought was a new Toyota Corolla. I think it cost about $10,000.00 and he still has it.
I insisted that it be a stick shift so that he would have to learn how to use one.
At the time, he hated it but thanks me now.

The car was the result of a performance promise I had half-jokingly made when he started high-school. I told him that if he made the honor roll for all 4 years, that I would buy him a new car. Well, he did and I did.

Rupert
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Re: Son's first car

Post by Rupert » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:49 am

For a 17-year-old boy, I'd look for something on the "cheapest cars to insure" list that has lots of airbags and a 4-cyl engine. Putting a 17-year-old boy in a powerful car is just asking for trouble - for him and the rest of the driving public.

Dave76
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Re: Son's first car

Post by Dave76 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:58 am

1985-1989 Lincoln Town Car
1980-1990 Chevrolet Caprice/Pontiac Parisienne
1979-1991 Ford LTD/Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis
1980-1985 Buick Park Avenue
1977-1989 Dodge Diplomat/Plymouth Gran Fury, Chrysler Lebaron


Big and lazy engines, robust, cheap to insure.

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HomerJ
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Re: Son's first car

Post by HomerJ » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:20 am

temco_rep wrote:What I thought I would do is look for a car with approx 80,000 to 100,000 miles and budget around 3,000 to 5,000


That's about right... Definitely don't want to spend too much on a kid's first car (but you also want it to be somewhat safe).

(1) A kid is very likely to get in accident or two the first couple of years.
(2) A kid will appreciate cars he drives later in life much more if her first car is a real clunker.


My oldest daughter's car, we got her a Honda Accord with 190,000 miles on it... and it actually got her through college before it died. We paid for it, but made her pay for insurance and gas.

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HomerJ
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Re: Son's first car

Post by HomerJ » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:22 am

livesoft wrote:But rather than buy a car, I would give my kid one of our existing cars and go buy a new car for myself. What kind of cars do you drive now?


This works too... My son is 11, and I intend to give him my current car (2008 Honda Civic) in 5 years, and buy myself a new one.

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Steelersfan
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Re: Son's first car

Post by Steelersfan » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:50 am

Agree on old and used and $3,000 - $5,000 is a decent target.

One son we gave him our old car and we bought new. The other one we bought off a used car lot since we were't into car buying at the time.

We bought and paid for both of them. Never an accident by either.

You know your own kid better than anyone posting on an internet board.

Andyrunner
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Re: Son's first car

Post by Andyrunner » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:27 am

HomerJ wrote:
livesoft wrote:But rather than buy a car, I would give my kid one of our existing cars and go buy a new car for myself. What kind of cars do you drive now?


This works too... My son is 11, and I intend to give him my current car (2008 Honda Civic) in 5 years, and buy myself a new one.


This is what my parents did. Nothing like seeing a kid to drive around a 1991 dodge caravan with half the paint on the hood missing. I also learned if you can learn to drive a minivan (aka boat on wheels) then the smaller cars are much easier to handle. Ahh those were the days....

reggiesimpson
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Re: Son's first car

Post by reggiesimpson » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:14 am

I bought a used Chevy Suburban as a family car with an eye to giving it to my son when he started driving. Thats just what i did. Its big and i have seen too many people come out on the short end of the stick when they are in the smaller car. He drove it too fast ONCE in my presence. I took the keys for a week.

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Jay69
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Re: Son's first car

Post by Jay69 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:55 am

reggiesimpson wrote:I bought a used Chevy Suburban as a family car with an eye to giving it to my son when he started driving. Thats just what i did. Its big and i have seen too many people come out on the short end of the stick when they are in the smaller car. He drove it too fast ONCE in my presence. I took the keys for a week.



We have had a number of Suburban's, loved them all. I thought about keeping are last one to give to the kid, or at least let him drive it as a third car for us. Then I got to thinking of how many people can fit in it and nixed that idea.

I'm a few months out and have been thinking about this as well and to be honest we have not decided what will happen yet. Current thinking is letting him drive what I'm driving when we are not using it, at this point just having the kids drive themselves to all the sport/band practices is going to be a good thing. I willing to dish out a few bucks to be sure they have a safe car.

When I'm out in the shop changing oil, brakes or whatever needs fixed I have my kids help out, they have a good idea of what it takes to keep a car on the road.
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Professor Emeritus
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Re: Son's first car

Post by Professor Emeritus » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:13 pm

My daughter turned 16. Came to me as a junior in high school and said "Daddy I just got a "5" on the AP calculus exam" I want to take Differential equations over at the university but to do that I need a car." I called a colleague who was an expert in Juvenile delinquents and asked him. He replied "What ? Are you crazy, buy her the car!!" So I bought her the car. Cute little stick shift Nissan
She graduated in mathematical Biochemistry and is now finishing her PhD. As it happened I was driving her car when it was hit from behind and totaled.

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Re: Son's first car

Post by Professor Emeritus » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:16 pm

Jay69 wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:I bought a used Chevy Suburban as a family car with an eye to giving it to my son when he started driving. Thats just what i did. Its big and i have seen too many people come out on the short end of the stick when they are in the smaller car. He drove it too fast ONCE in my presence. I took the keys for a week.



We have had a number of Suburban's, loved them all. .



SUVs are very unstable especially for young drivers.

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Re: Son's first car

Post by supton » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:54 pm

Not sure what we'll do, we're 10 years out, and I wouldn't be surprised if the min age creeps up too (16 at the moment, but I'm guessing graduated licensing is going to spread, and I can't say I'm going to argue against it--I was 16 once too). Given the amount of snow we get I'll probably demand ABS; that should make it new enough to have airbags. Maybe even sidebags, since those have been standard equipment for a while now. But otherwise, a beater, very likely they will have an accident. Even if it's not their fault. Better to save the coin for future expenses. And on the smaller side. Harder to pack it full of friends and do stupid things; if it's underpowered, all the better.

Never thought of selling them one of our old vehicles. Good known history, hmm, not a bad idea really. Of course, "selling" could be code for "enforced saving", where I take the dollars and put them someplace to make money instead.

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tyrion
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Re: Son's first car

Post by tyrion » Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:26 pm

My kids are also a few years out. But I will probably do what my parents did, which was to let the kids use the 'family car' for the first year or two. This allows for maximum control over usage and safety features during the most important driving years when kids are most vulnerable to making stupid teenager mistakes. And by family car, we're most likely be talking about a 10-15 year old Honda Accord or similar.

Of course all kids are different. Some are more mature, some have additional or more frequent car needs (extra school or early morning activities, for example). So maybe my thinking will change as my kids grow up a little.

reggiesimpson
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Re: Son's first car

Post by reggiesimpson » Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:08 pm

Professor Emeritus wrote:
Jay69 wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:I bought a used Chevy Suburban as a family car with an eye to giving it to my son when he started driving. Thats just what i did. Its big and i have seen too many people come out on the short end of the stick when they are in the smaller car. He drove it too fast ONCE in my presence. I took the keys for a week.



We have had a number of Suburban's, loved them all. .



SUVs are very unstable especially for young drivers.

I have seen the results of way to many accidents in my career. Bigger is always better. Especially for new drivers.

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Re: Son's first car

Post by Professor Emeritus » Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:25 pm

SUVs are very unstable especially for young drivers.[/quote]
I have seen the results of way to many accidents in my career. Bigger is always better. Especially for new drivers.[/quote]

This is simply a myth.

most SUVS are rigid framed so more energy gets transferred to the occupants. Far more importantly

Because of inadequate regulatory standards rollovers and roof crushes are more common and more hazardous

"Manufacturers have fought hard against any attempt to promulgate a rollover stability regulation or even caution motorists about a vehicle’s propensity to rollover. To date, the agency has acquiesced to industry on the core issue of a stability standard. Instead, NHTSA has settled for rollover warning regulations and a rating system."
http://www.safetyresearch.net/safety-is ... stability/


http://www.accidentreconstruction.com/n ... Issues.pdf

"Here's the irony. Consumers gravitate to an SUV or a light truck for the increased sense of safety they feel on the road. The vehicle is bigger, with more sheet metal and crumple zones between them and the guard rail, or another car. And true, in a tussle between a large SUV and a small compact car, the SUV is going to come out on top and score the decision.
But that's assuming the SUV stays upright on all four wheels. And the very thing that affords you that sense of safety and stability - sitting up high - can turn around to bite you when the dynamic forces of a collision, or collision avoidance, results in pressures that can cause instability. A tall, top-heavy vehicle that is prone to instability is more likely to roll over than a passenger car, which sits lower to the ground."
http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/fe ... lover.html

Rodc
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Re: Son's first car

Post by Rodc » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:18 pm

I never believed in giving kids cars.

Well, until I did. :)

How did you handle your children's first car? Did you buy it for them with your money?


Sold her our 8 year old Civic for about half price (and we bought a new car for mom). She had a job, learned about debt and making payments and all that just as if she had paid full price. And she was very proud of herself for not just being handed a car. I can't remember if she paid a down payment as she had the job for a bit first. And frankly if I had understood how nice it was to not have to driver her around, or on occasion being able to get her to drive her brothers someplace, I might have just given her the car. But we did want her to go through owning, paying, etc as a a learning experience and I think it turned out to be worthwhile on that front.

She also had to pay half the insurance.

All in all it worked out pretty well. FWIW: She never missed a payment.
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tadamsmar
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Re: Son's first car

Post by tadamsmar » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:39 pm

An SUV with ESC is good. For instance, I dare say that a 2000 4Runner is a safer vehicle than any of the specific suggestion listed so far on this thread, and they are available for under $5000 (but not under 100K).

Of the top ten vehicles with the lowest mortality rates in the IIHS study, seven were SUVs: the Ford Edge, Nissan Armada, Land Rover Range Rover Sport and LR3, each of which tied for the lowest score in the study at zero fatalities per million registered vehicles, and the Honda CR-V, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Acura MDX, which were close behind. That's a huge change compared to just ten years ago, when top-heavy SUVs were frequently involved in rollover crashes.

Why the change? According to the IIHS, it's mostly due to the widespread availability of Electronic Stability Control, a key safety feature common in recent SUVs that helps prevent rollovers. Indeed, each of the top-rated SUVs in the group's study comes standard with ESC.


http://www.autotrader.com/research/arti ... -safer.jsp

Professor Emeritus
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Re: Son's first car

Post by Professor Emeritus » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:52 pm

.

Of the top ten vehicles with the lowest mortality rates in the IIHS study, seven were SUVs: the Ford Edge, Nissan Armada, Land Rover Range Rover Sport and LR3, each of which tied for the lowest score in the study at zero fatalities per million registered vehicles,

http://www.autotrader.com/research/arti ... -safer.jsp[/quote]


I would note that fatality rates "per million registered vehicles" always understate the risk of certain cars. you have to do in on a car miles or passenger miles basis

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Re: Son's first car

Post by stoptothink » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:56 pm

Professor Emeritus wrote:SUVs are very unstable especially for young drivers.

I have seen the results of way to many accidents in my career. Bigger is always better. Especially for new drivers.[/quote]

This is simply a myth.

most SUVS are rigid framed so more energy gets transferred to the occupants. Far more importantly

Because of inadequate regulatory standards rollovers and roof crushes are more common and more hazardous

"Manufacturers have fought hard against any attempt to promulgate a rollover stability regulation or even caution motorists about a vehicle’s propensity to rollover. To date, the agency has acquiesced to industry on the core issue of a stability standard. Instead, NHTSA has settled for rollover warning regulations and a rating system."
http://www.safetyresearch.net/safety-is ... stability/


http://www.accidentreconstruction.com/n ... Issues.pdf

"Here's the irony. Consumers gravitate to an SUV or a light truck for the increased sense of safety they feel on the road. The vehicle is bigger, with more sheet metal and crumple zones between them and the guard rail, or another car. And true, in a tussle between a large SUV and a small compact car, the SUV is going to come out on top and score the decision.
But that's assuming the SUV stays upright on all four wheels. And the very thing that affords you that sense of safety and stability - sitting up high - can turn around to bite you when the dynamic forces of a collision, or collision avoidance, results in pressures that can cause instability. A tall, top-heavy vehicle that is prone to instability is more likely to roll over than a passenger car, which sits lower to the ground."
http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/fe ... lover.html[/quote]

Not to mention SUV's are bad at avoiding accidents altogether. The best way to be safe in an accident is to avoid one, harder to do that in a heavy and high vehicle which brakes and handles poorly.

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tadamsmar
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Re: Son's first car

Post by tadamsmar » Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:07 pm

reggiesimpson wrote:Bigger is always better. Especially for new drivers.


Nope, not always.

The '02 Blazer is the same weight as the '02 4Runner, but they have a 26:1 fatality rate difference:

http://www.informedforlife.org/viewartcl.php?index=8

Do you have even the slightest idea why they have 26:1 fatality rate difference?

There are lots of lower weight vehicles between those two fatality rates.

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Dutch
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Re: Son's first car

Post by Dutch » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:30 pm

reggiesimpson wrote:I bought a used Chevy Suburban as a family car with an eye to giving it to my son when he started driving. Thats just what i did. Its big and i have seen too many people come out on the short end of the stick when they are in the smaller car. He drove it too fast ONCE in my presence. I took the keys for a week.


With a suburban, your kid can't afford to drive very far. Added bonus.

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tadamsmar
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Re: Son's first car

Post by tadamsmar » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:38 pm

Professor Emeritus wrote:.

Of the top ten vehicles with the lowest mortality rates in the IIHS study, seven were SUVs: the Ford Edge, Nissan Armada, Land Rover Range Rover Sport and LR3, each of which tied for the lowest score in the study at zero fatalities per million registered vehicles,

http://www.autotrader.com/research/arti ... -safer.jsp



I would note that fatality rates "per million registered vehicles" always understate the risk of certain cars. you have to do in on a car miles or passenger miles basis


Those ESC-equipped SUVs would still have the lowest mortality rate in car miles or passenger miles because they all had zero fatalities. Think about it. If you have zero for a year its zero regardless of the miles traveled and you can't get lower than zero.

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Re: Son's first car

Post by livesoft » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:52 pm

tadamsmar wrote:Those ESC-equipped SUVs would still have the lowest mortality rate in car miles or passenger miles because they all had zero fatalities.

Careful, because that assumes at least a significant number of registered vehicles. I could not easily find out whether "zero fatalities" was rounded or not. Suppose only 5000 LR3's exist and 9 people died. that would be like 9/20 per million registered vehicles which to the nearest integer would be 0 fatalities.
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Re: Son's first car

Post by Greentree » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:06 pm

Volvo 240: incredibly reliable, affordable, super safe, built like a tank, 25 mpg, low insurance, and one of the slowest cars made in the 80s. :D

I think you are on the right track. A Honda or Toyota would be less embarrassing and a good option in the mileage range. Mazdas are also good and less expensive used. I do think the first car is the first painful time to instill the lack of need for any sort of status symbol.

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Steelersfan
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Re: Son's first car

Post by Steelersfan » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:38 pm

Greentree wrote:

I do think the first car is the first painful time to instill the lack of need for any sort of status symbol.


+1

Our son's first cars were a ten year old Toyota Corolla (with rust) and a nine year old Nissan Sentra, with sun faded paint and needing an air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror to make it habitable.

Yuck!

But they were happy as clams.

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Re: Son's first car

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:50 pm

Sometimes I wonder how I managed to sneak onto this forum. My attitude is that as long as my kids are dependents, it's my job to keep them as safe as possible. I got my son a Volvo XC-60, a vehicle as safe as anything he felt comfortable driving. I'd rather see him in that vehicle than have the money in the bank.

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Re: Son's first car

Post by HomerJ » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:00 pm

Greentree wrote:I think you are on the right track. A Honda or Toyota would be less embarrassing and a good option in the mileage range. Mazdas are also good and less expensive used. I do think the first car is the first painful time to instill the lack of need for any sort of status symbol.


Agreed... We live in a rich school district. I LOVED hearing my daughters complain about their crappy cars when their friends had new cars (a couple of their friends even had BMWs).

I told them I could just hear the character growing... :)

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HomerJ
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Re: Son's first car

Post by HomerJ » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:03 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:Sometimes I wonder how I managed to sneak onto this forum. My attitude is that as long as my kids are dependents, it's my job to keep them as safe as possible. I got my son a Volvo XC-60, a vehicle as safe as anything he felt comfortable driving. I'd rather see him in that vehicle than have the money in the bank.


You know your kids. If they won't grow up spoiled, then it's all good...

My oldest daughter, I probably could have gotten her a nice car, and she still would have turned out okay...

My middle daughter, it was important that she drive a junk car to school every day. Building character is part of my job as a parent too... And making sure she didn't turn out snobby and spoiled like many of her friends was important.

NOTE: My oldest daughter was 16 eleven years ago... Now that I think about it, we didn't have enough MONEY to get her a nice car back then anyway. So that's something you have to think about too. Not all Bogleheads are rich (yet).

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tadamsmar
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Re: Son's first car

Post by tadamsmar » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:23 pm

livesoft wrote:
tadamsmar wrote:Those ESC-equipped SUVs would still have the lowest mortality rate in car miles or passenger miles because they all had zero fatalities.

Careful, because that assumes at least a significant number of registered vehicles. I could not easily find out whether "zero fatalities" was rounded or not. Suppose only 5000 LR3's exist and 9 people died. that would be like 9/20 per million registered vehicles which to the nearest integer would be 0 fatalities.


Here's the source:

"...drivers of today's SUVs are among the least likely to die in a crash"

http://www.iihs.org/externaldata/srdata ... pdf#page=1

Those that are disputing this on this thread seemed to have formed their opinion over a decade ago and have not kept up with the differential impact of new technology on the safety of SUVs relative to sedans.
Last edited by tadamsmar on Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

nimo956
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Re: Son's first car

Post by nimo956 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:23 pm

Get a used Ford Taurus (now called Fusion). That was my first car when I was 16, and I'm still driving it today, 11 years later! I think I paid $6-7k for it in 2003. It was already 4 years old when I bought it, so it has held up remarkably well. Another thing to keep in mind: the more popular cars have more common parts, so they are cheaper to repair.

Also, get at least a V6 mid-size model. I personally can't stand those tiny little 4 cylinder cars. I can barely even fit into them.
50% VTI / 50% VXUS

jlawrence01
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Re: Son's first car

Post by jlawrence01 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:06 am

nimo956 wrote:Get a used Ford Taurus (now called Fusion). That was my first car when I was 16, and I'm still driving it today, 11 years later! I think I paid $6-7k for it in 2003. It was already 4 years old when I bought it, so it has held up remarkably well. Another thing to keep in mind: the more popular cars have more common parts, so they are cheaper to repair..


A 2006 Ford Taurus maybe the same SIZE as a Ford Fusion, BUT it is NOT really all that similar. The old Ford Taurus is much more like the Ford Five Hundred except that the latter is a lot more reliable and can be a fairly expensive car.

An old Ford Taurus (2002-06) is a good first car for a new driver. They are dirt cheap as most, especially in the later years, came from corporate and rental fleets often at a very low price. They can be reliable if and only if they receive FREQUENT oil changes (3k). Avoid pre-2000 models due to their disposable transmissions.

Any car discussions should begin at the insurance agents office. Quite often, the cost of insuring a teenage driver makes the other aspects of car ownership rather insignificant.

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Polar_Ice
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Re: Son's first car

Post by Polar_Ice » Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:34 pm

Volvo 240DL wagon

safe
built like a tank
reliable
inexpensive

curmudgeon
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Re: Son's first car

Post by curmudgeon » Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:53 pm

My kids were heavily involved in sports and other activities during high school. We viewed having them start to drive themselves (and younger siblings) to activities as reducing our workload. We bought the car and paid the insurance (having them as primary driver for a cheaper, less powerful car than the family cars helped manage insurance costs), and they paid gas. Using the car was a priviledge, not a right, and it was shared in the interval when two were at home and of driving age. It was NOT their car to take with them when they moved away (unless they bought it). We phased driving limits in because it seemed a wise thing to do (the state added similar limits a few years later); in particular, we had the newest driver do as much of family driving as possible in their first year to develop skills/habits under supervision.

I didn't want them distracted by driving a bunch of friends around, setting rules about driving friends would put them in the stress of either breaking family rules or seeming unfriendly in denying rides to friends; I solved this by getting a 2-passenger car. I also wanted to encourage mechanical understanding, so it was stick shift (and I made them do a few automotive tasks as part of "dad's drivers license exam"). I didn't want something powerful or fast. Something a bit unique was OK, but I didn't want a status symbol for them. I wanted it cheap enough that I didn't need to carry collision/comprehensive insurance. In this case, my son (2nd of 3 kids) fell in love with the car and bought it when he went to college, so I had to find something different for the third to drive.

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Steelersfan
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Re: Son's first car

Post by Steelersfan » Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:28 pm

Polar_Ice wrote:Volvo 240DL wagon

safe
built like a tank
reliable
inexpensive


That just might qualify as one of the least sexy automobiles ever. :annoyed

Well done! :happy

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interplanetjanet
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Re: Son's first car

Post by interplanetjanet » Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:01 pm

Steelersfan wrote:
Polar_Ice wrote:Volvo 240DL wagon

safe
built like a tank
reliable
inexpensive


That just might qualify as one of the least sexy automobiles ever. :annoyed

Well done! :happy

I don't know, those rear seats fold down to make a really...spacious area. ;)

I had a 240 wagon, but mine was a turbo intercooled stick...it was surprisingly zippy for the time.

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Steelersfan
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Re: Son's first car

Post by Steelersfan » Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:32 pm

Sexy?

Different strokes for different folks.

Image



But, as you say, highly functional. :happy

reggiesimpson
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Re: Son's first car

Post by reggiesimpson » Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:52 pm

I'm sticking with bigger is better. Seen and treated way to many patients that got the short end of the stick in the smaller car.
Doesnt have to be an SUV.............btw i have a 1997 Lincoln for sale.

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tadamsmar
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Re: Son's first car

Post by tadamsmar » Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:14 am

reggiesimpson wrote:I'm sticking with bigger is better. Seen and treated way to many patients that got the short end of the stick in the smaller car.
Doesnt have to be an SUV.............btw i have a 1997 Lincoln for sale.


I agree that size is an important factor:

http://www.informedforlife.org/viewartcl.php?index=83

I was just objecting to "always" which ignores all the other factors, particularly when Dad is trying to find a cheap car for a new driver.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Son's first car

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:07 am

HomerJ wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:Sometimes I wonder how I managed to sneak onto this forum. My attitude is that as long as my kids are dependents, it's my job to keep them as safe as possible. I got my son a Volvo XC-60, a vehicle as safe as anything he felt comfortable driving. I'd rather see him in that vehicle than have the money in the bank.


You know your kids. If they won't grow up spoiled, then it's all good...

My oldest daughter, I probably could have gotten her a nice car, and she still would have turned out okay...

My middle daughter, it was important that she drive a junk car to school every day. Building character is part of my job as a parent too... And making sure she didn't turn out snobby and spoiled like many of her friends was important.

NOTE: My oldest daughter was 16 eleven years ago... Now that I think about it, we didn't have enough MONEY to get her a nice car back then anyway. So that's something you have to think about too. Not all Bogleheads are rich (yet).


Yes, it depends on the child. The son in the Volvo is not spoiled by material possessions (he's the kid who said he didn't need a new hockey stick even after he grew 3+ inches from one season to the next). His sister, two years behind, might have an issue, but that's a little bit in the future, and most likely she will get his car when he heads off to college.

My son tells me that he got to drive the most of his friends before getting his license. I think that's as important as the safety features of a car. It is sometimes inconvenient to move out of the driver's seat and let your child drive with your experienced self providing tips and advice along the way. My father did it for me, and I am glad that I've done it for my son. It's easier to drive myself, or easier to read the paper or send emails while my son is driving, but I think it's my job to give him whatever benefit of my experience I can. FWIW, he's become a very good driver.

reggiesimpson
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Re: Son's first car

Post by reggiesimpson » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:52 am

tadamsmar wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:I'm sticking with bigger is better. Seen and treated way to many patients that got the short end of the stick in the smaller car.
Doesnt have to be an SUV.............btw i have a 1997 Lincoln for sale.


I agree that size is an important factor:

http://www.informedforlife.org/viewartcl.php?index=83

I was just objecting to "always" which ignores all the other factors, particularly when Dad is trying to find a cheap car for a new driver.[/quote}

That Lincoln Town Car went for $1000............pennies on the pound and safe to boot.

ragabnh
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Re: Son's first car

Post by ragabnh » Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:02 am

I have 07 FJcruiser, I will give it to my son who will be going to college next summer,

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