Car for teenager

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amitb00
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Car for teenager

Post by amitb00 »

My daughter will be getting driving license soon and is asking for a car. Wanted to find out what age you gave your kid the car? Which car you bought? Did you put any condition before giving the car? After few years have passed, would you have done it any different? Like would you rather delay or give them earlier?
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Car for teen ager

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Is a car needed to get around? How did your daughter commute/travel pre-drivers license? Are you ready for your car insurance bill to move higher? It will when she gets that license.
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Topic Author
amitb00
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Re: Car for teen ager

Post by amitb00 »

She uses either bus or we provide her a ride. Car will make it easier and I can afford it. However my question was more around do folks give car at high school? Do they see issues related to safety or indiscipline if kids get cars in high school? Does it become an issue when they go to college say if car is not needed at college.
slow123
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Re: Car for teen ager

Post by slow123 »

I'm going to do for my daughter what my parents did for me. Nothing, and I wasn't allowed to finance (I wouldn't have anyway) . I started working when I was 15 because I wanted a car ASAP. My first car was $3,500 and I loved it and always took super great care of it.

As a result I still always buy cars used and with cash.
Mike Scott
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Re: Car for teen ager

Post by Mike Scott »

I would not give a kid a car at any age. We let our kids drive the family car(s) after they were able to pay for their own insurance. They have bought their own cars when they needed one to get to school and work. As far as maturity and responsibility; you know your kid best.
investingdad
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Re: Car for teen ager

Post by investingdad »

amitb00 wrote:She uses either bus or we provide her a ride. Car will make it easier and I can afford it. However my question was more around do folks give car at high school? Do they see issues related to safety or indiscipline if kids get cars in high school? Does it become an issue when they go to college say if car is not needed at college.
I'm 41 and had to buy a beater because it was what I could afford on part time jobs. I also had to pay for my own insurance. I was a senior in high school. I'm thinking the same route for my kids.
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Car for teen ager

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Given the age and inexperience - I'd pass on it. A car is a huge responsibility - it's also capable of creating irreversible damages, if you get my drift. What do other parents in your neighborhood do?
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livesoft
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Re: Car for teen ager

Post by livesoft »

I lent (not gave) my 22-year-old a 13-year-old car when she graduated from college. I expect to get this car back and lend it to my other child when he graduates from college and gets a job.

My daughter used the same car her junior/senior years of high school for which there was no bus service and not the HS our home was zoned for, so she had to get to school somehow. It was my car and on the day's she used it, I did not have access to a car. I think her freshman/sophomore years of HS she was dropped off by my spouse on my spouse's way to work and got a ride home with friends.

My younger child could walk to high school, so he did not get to use the car to go to school. Besides he had no parking space at the HS. He used my car to drive to work though.

I would do the same nowadays.
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markcoop
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Re: Car for teen ager

Post by markcoop »

I am wrestling with the same issue. Although I trust my children, I believe all people, especially young drivers, believe they are better drivers than they are. I also believe there are many bad drivers on the road today. It's hard to convey that it's better to be safe than right to a teenager. For these reasons, and more, I want to delay my children driving regularly. I hope to pick and choose times to give them practice based on weather, roads and my availability to drive with them. Of course, this means I have to drive them around. Sometimes they get rides from other kids, but I am not too comfortable about that either. I am not a worrier, but this is one issue that scares me.
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livesoft
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Re: Car for teen ager

Post by livesoft »

I would suggest that a parent let their kids get lots of practice driving. If I was ever in a car with my teenage driver, then I insisted they drive. I would not drive them around; they would drive me around instead. I learned that my kids are excellent drivers with impressive reaction times. My daughter saved my life and everyone else's in the car with her defensive driving reactions.
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markcoop
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Re: Car for teen ager

Post by markcoop »

Livesoft - I always let my kids drive when it's just me and them in the car. I also try not to give too many driving tips, but limit what I say to a few good suggestions.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Car for teen ager

Post by TomatoTomahto »

I'm going to provide this data point, against my better judgment and expecting the usual backlash about spoiling my kids, because I think there is a legitimate place for spending considerable amounts of money for a kid's car, even in the Boglehead universe. Some of the thoughts that went into this are:
1. We LBYM because we want to spend on education, experiences, and safety
2. We can well afford this
3. As a SAHD, my freedom and quality of life improved when the kids could drive
4. Not only my kids, but other drivers and pedestrians benefit from my kids being in a safe car
5. I could not imagine how I'd feel if something unfortunate happened and we had not done what we could to get the kids in a safe car. I understand that we're very lucky to have this option, and I don't dispute that every family, wanting what's best for their kids, will deal with the realities of their family budget in ways that are best for their family.
6. When my car's in the shop, I don't mind borrowing theirs :D

Usually, when this comes up, someone (unhelpfully) suggests putting the kids in a tank. There are reasonable and safe alternatives at many budget points.

Can we please take this as just another data point? In the past, some responses were intolerant of my family's choices, in a way that I'm sure I would be admonished for if the situation were reversed.

To Livesoft's point, it is important that kids get hour after hour of driving practice, whether you or they are in the mood or not. The kids I know who got into accidents shortly after getting their licenses were all kids whose parents were too busy, or too inconvenienced, or too inclined to delegate the responsibility to others. There was a friend of my son who got into an accident literally on the way home from the test (no injuries, but the car was totaled).
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livesoft
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Re: Car for teen ager

Post by livesoft »

markcoop wrote:Livesoft - I always let my kids drive when it's just me and them in the car. I also try not to give too many driving tips, but limit what I say to a few good suggestions.
I wrote about something along those lines in this previous post 5 years ago: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 7#p1179647
Last edited by livesoft on Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bidwell
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Re: Car for teen ager

Post by Bidwell »

I gave and still give cars to my family members. It makes sense to give the best you can afford to your daughter. I love Honda and Toyota products, new and used, for this purpose. If the car isn't new make sure it's mechanically ready your young driver. In my opinion, an automible is a necessity in most places.
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (car). I fixed the spelling in the title - "teen ager" to "teenager."
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nordsteve
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by nordsteve »

Each child got an inexpensive car (e.g., $2000) to use, as they're involved in many activities and it is convenient for us parents.

The older one took decent care of it and still uses it. The younger one was careless and totaled it in an easily avoided accident. My comment: "one free car per child."
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by bloom2708 »

Our oldest daughter will get her license in June. She will get to use a 2007 Ford Edge with 92k miles. When she gets her license I will drop the insurance down to liability only. I'm sure we will still take a big hit in the wallet based on adding a teen driver. Our insurance person suggested a "liability only" vehicle. Our insurance assigns a driver to a vehicle. In theory it shouldn't affect our other cars, but I'm guessing it will.

At first she will get to drive by herself to sports practices if she proves she has a good handle on driving. We are doing a lot of practice driving and she will be taking drivers ed.

Eventually this will become "her" vehicle, but I guess we will just see how it goes. It is going to be an adventure. :oops:
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Skiffy
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by Skiffy »

Go to the high school at the last bell and watch how the high school students drive. It is scary. I think they have added more restrictions than when our kids were in high school, grades etc to get a parking spot.

The kids inherited our old, boring, safe cars. We always felt the parents should have nicer cars than the kids!
galectin
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Re: Car for teen ager

Post by galectin »

We let our kids use one of two cars we had.

If you do decide to get her a car, you might want to consider, if the circumstance fits, getting a newer car for you or your wife and let her have the older car. This will emphasise that you are loaning her the car. We did this in our daughter's senior year of high school and let her drive the old one (a Toyota Corolla Wagon) to school. She was fine with that.

I recommend that you emphasis that cars are transportation, not a fashion accessory. So, get basic transportation, not something flashy that she thinks is cool (insert current teenage term here).

Also, I always told my kids that "Driving is not a competitive sport." Emphasise safety. This is a rule I made for myself when I commuted from New Jersey to New York City.
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by MnD »

The kids at age 16 got exactly matching 2002 Subaru Outback Limited 4-cylinder wagons with the exception of the color and transmission so we could tell them apart and they could start on the automatic but also learn to drive a manual. Slow, AWD, fabulous visibility, tons of airbags and leather for spills. excellent for hauling lots of stuff back and forth to college. Each kid now has ~50K miles each in all sorts of conditions including awful snow, late night work, urban, long road trips etc. if kids were starting driving now I'd do the same thing with 2005-07 Outbacks.
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dbCooperAir
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by dbCooperAir »

The kids use the family cars, I also have a fun car that I can drive during the summer months so that gives us an extra car so to speak. My kids have not asked for a car yet and I'm not pushing one. I can't put my fingers on it but I don't think kids really care all that much about cars as I did when I was a kid, I could not wait to get my license and buy a car, my kids could really care less.

Kids getting a license was more for us than them, I don't have to be on the road every night playing taxi to practice etc., that part has been great. I will either pass down one of our cars or buy something else depending on where the kids go to college. At some point during the senior year in high school seems like a good point in life to help them out with a car.
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Andyrunner
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by Andyrunner »

All my brothers and I got our licenses around age 16, but we didn't get our cars until age 17 after hours upon hours of practice, even then we were limited to who could be in the car and no radio (of course no way to regulate that one).

My brothers car, moms 8 year old maxima. Second brothers car, ten year old Honda accord. My car: 15 year old family minivan or one of the other brothers cars. Our parents put $5000 to our cars, anything else was our own money. We had to pay our own insurance and gas.

I hated this as a kid, but now I would do the same exact thing. Teenager needs to know the car is a privilege and it can be taken away as a punishment. They also need to know its your car not theirs. Bigger piece of junk the better.
Professor Emeritus
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by Professor Emeritus »

Older Daughter was a high school junior. Turned 16 and came to me "Daddy I just got a 5 on the AP calculus exam and I want to take differential equations over at the university but to do that I'll need a car

Called a colleague who was an expert in Juvenile delinquents and asked his advice . He said "are you stupid, buy her the car!

So we bought her the car.

Graduated Summa cum laud in mathematical biochemistry and finished a PhD in Molecular biology

Oh and the car was never in any accident till it was hit from behind and totaled while stopped at a red light.

WHILE I WAS DRIVING IT

She has never ever ever let me forget that fact.
user5027
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by user5027 »

One tip a college friend passed along to me when our children started driving was when they have the first fender bender, do not fix it (unless you have too). Every time they get into the car they will see it as a reminder of what happens when they are not careful.
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by Michread »

Our 18yo drives our old 2005 Camry. He will lose it this fall when he attends college (to his older sibling who will be a college senior).
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eschaef
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by eschaef »

My sister and I are younger than any of my parents' friends' kids. My parents were warned by their friends that they should expect us to total our first cars. Obviously, you do whatever you can to prevent that and encourage safe driving, but that they should be prepared for that idea.

When my sister got her license, my parents gave her my mom's Hyundai sedan and my mom got a new car. Sure enough, my sister totaled that car within a year. [At a stop sign with a bad line of sight. My sister stopped, looked, pulled out, and sideswiped a car.] My parents got her another used car (<$5000), she hated it and my dad liked it, so my dad took that car and they got my sister another used car (<$5000) that lasted her until she graduated from medical school. [Interestingly, my father totaled the car he took from my sister... at the same intersection in the same exact manner less than a year later. There's a traffic light there now, finally.]

When I got my license, my parents bought me a used Jeep. I totaled it less than a year later. [Not speeding, but going too fast for road conditions as it had started to rain. I was frustrated because I had had a misunderstanding about picking a friend up and when I got to her she said she wasn't coming with me anymore. I was running late. I definitely learned a lesson with that one.] They got me another used car that lasted me until I graduated from college.
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by whatusername? »

I drove a parent's hand-me-down Camry that was kept for a year until I was old enough to drive it. Drove it for high school and first few years of college and then handed it down to a younger sibling who totaled the dang thing several times over.

My dad's opinion was that once we had a few years under our feet and a few crashes in our history, THEN he would consider going to any trouble or expense in vehicles (we were not his first set of teenagers). I got a new car a few months before I moved across the country, my younger sib after the Camry finally gave up the ghost his junior year of college.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by Doom&Gloom »

amitb00 wrote:My daughter will be getting driving license soon and is asking for a car. Wanted to find out what age you gave your kid the car? Which car you bought? Did you put any condition before giving the car? After few years have passed, would you have done it any different? Like would you rather delay or give them earlier?
We ignored (or just said "no") to any inquiries or requests for a car. We decided we would get/give our son a car on our schedule--not his. It turns out that "our schedule" coincided with the point that it was no longer convenient for us to let him drive one of our cars or be bothered to take him places. His half-hearted requests began just before he got his learner's permit and were almost always for "flashy" cars. Those requests died as he realized they had no effect upon us.

The point where we decided he "needed" a car was when he got serious about getting a job. By that time, he had been driving about a year and a half, with only a couple of significant mishaps involving DW's car: he solidly scraped a friend's brick mailbox and he snapped off a plug in the "accessory" receptacle of her radio when he took his phone out of the car without unplugging it, rendering that feature of the radio unusable.

Each of our cars was ~10 years old and approaching the need to be replaced. Since we knew the history of our own cars, we had decided that he would get the car of who bought a new car first rather than buying another car for him. It turned out that I buckled first as my car was a few years older than DW's. I asked him if he wanted my car when I got a new one. He jumped at the opportunity even though he had turned his nose up at the thought a few years earlier.

He has been driving my 2004 Toyota Solara for a year now with no issues. Up to this point we have not asked him to contribute anything other than gasoline. But starting next month when our auto policy renews, he will be footing the bill for the insurance of that automobile. Our deal at this time is that as long as he is working (which he enjoys), he will pay the insurance and half the cost of repairs, new tires, etc. I will continue to foot the bill for routine maintenance. He starts college in the fall and if he cannot work while doing that, we will resume the costs until he finishes college as long as he is able to maintain his scholarships. If he loses those, he loses the car. He had one non-car-related issue recently, and I told him in the event of a recurrence, the car will be at CarMax the following day. He has the good sense to believe me. We will "adjust" our arrangement as necessary over the next few years.

This has worked well for us so far, but, like cars, teenagers vary widely.
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by texasdiver »

Our oldest daughter turned 16 this past July so we were faced with this issue.

We ended up handing down "loaning her" my wife's old 2003 Honda CR-V that had 150,000 miles while my wife upgraded to a new Highlander. It worked out decently for us because it was time for us to get a new family car that was less than 10 years old (I'm driving a 12 year old Sienna with 275,000 miles on it) for the long out of town road trips that we take on occasion. My wife's 11 year old CR-V was about depreciated out so not worth much on the trade in and it was reliable and we knew the history since we have owned it since new.

As for needing a car, she does after school sports and has an after school job at a sandwich deli, both of which would require parent chauffeur without a car as we live in a sprawling Texas suburb that lacks reasonable non-car transit alternatives. Since we still have 2 younger daughters who require near daily chauffeuring to soccer, swim team practice, and music lessons, giving a car to the teenager to use is about the only viable option to keep me sane and keep the kids doing more than just sitting at home playing on screens. We couldn't just loan her one of our existing cars because I need mine to shuttle the other 2 kids around and my wife is frequently on call at the hospital and so needs wheels available 24/7. Hence the need to get a 3rd car of some sort.

About 50% was her wanting a car because all her friends drive to school and to other events and about 50% was us wanting to have one less kid to have to drive around on a daily basis. We pay the annual registration, maintenance, and insurance. She pays the gas and for any accessories that she wants out of her after school job.

I would never buy any sort of expensive car for a teenager. A 10-year old smaller Japanese or Korean car is about right. A Corolla, Civic, CR-V, Hyundai, etc. Basic cheap reliable transportation is all they need. You don't want your child to have the coolest car in her crowd because she'll be doing all the driving of everyone else. Something slightly embarrassing and stodgy is about right. :D
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Matahari
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by Matahari »

Whether or not you decide to give a car to your teenager, the years between the teenager obtaining her license and going off to college are the best years for (1) parent-supervised driving and (2) driving in an area that is relatively familiar to the new driver. This is the time to maximize the development of good and safe driving skills and judgment.

If you decide not to buy a car for your teenaged driver, do not lessen the opportunity for driving practice.

For H and me, part of helping her develop good driving skills and judgment included providing our D with a car that she drives to and from high school and in which she has gradually increased her radius of travel from home and back. It is not "her" car in that she does not own it. We provide her with its use and foot the cost. For reasons unrelated to either ownership or cost, she will not be taking the car to college with her.
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sunny_socal
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by sunny_socal »

texasdiver wrote: I would never buy any sort of expensive car for a teenager. A 10-year old smaller Japanese or Korean car is about right. A Corolla, Civic, CR-V, Hyundai, etc. Basic cheap reliable transportation is all they need. You don't want your child to have the coolest car in her crowd because she'll be doing all the driving of everyone else. Something slightly embarrassing and stodgy is about right. :D
I don't have a teenager yet but after a couple years I will. I currently drive a Honda Fit and initially considered giving it to my oldest son.

However I've since had second thoughts. Perhaps a small car doesn't provide enough mass compared to other vehicles on the road. My new minimum is a midsize family sedan (Accord/Camry), or possibly a small pickup truck like a Toyota Tacoma or Ford Ranger. Airbags are fine and dandy but you can't cheat the laws of physics.
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by texasdiver »

sunny_socal wrote:
texasdiver wrote: I would never buy any sort of expensive car for a teenager. A 10-year old smaller Japanese or Korean car is about right. A Corolla, Civic, CR-V, Hyundai, etc. Basic cheap reliable transportation is all they need. You don't want your child to have the coolest car in her crowd because she'll be doing all the driving of everyone else. Something slightly embarrassing and stodgy is about right. :D
I don't have a teenager yet but after a couple years I will. I currently drive a Honda Fit and initially considered giving it to my oldest son.

However I've since had second thoughts. Perhaps a small car doesn't provide enough mass compared to other vehicles on the road. My new minimum is a midsize family sedan (Accord/Camry), or possibly a small pickup truck like a Toyota Tacoma or Ford Ranger. Airbags are fine and dandy but you can't cheat the laws of physics.
I guess it depends on your geography. Teens around here rarely drive on the freeway. Most of the driving is on local surface streets through our web of suburban sprawl and pretty much all the teen accidents I see are the typical fender benders at street lights, in and around the school parking lots, that sort of thing. Kids get side-swiped or rear end each other at low to moderate speeds. I'm not sure a bigger car really makes much difference over a decent one with good airbags and such. I'm also skeptical of trucks for kids. They are much more prone to rollover and not nearly as easy to handle and park as smaller cars. When they do venture on the freeways the real dangers are from trucks and I'm not sure a car of any size is really going to make the slightest difference when an 18 wheeler is involved.
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by Johnny Thinwallet »

No kids for my wife and I yet, but I was on the teenager side of the equation 15+ years ago.

Shortly before I got my license, my dad upgraded his daily driver from a borderline beater to a respectable used car. He then essentially handed the borderline beater down to me as my first car, which then turned into my beater. I paid 100 percent of the gasoline and insurance costs from day one. I was also responsible for paying for routine maintenance and any new/unknown mechanical issues that popped up after I inherited the car. There were two known mechanical issues that my parents knew about when they gave me the car, and they ultimately paid for those two items when it was time to repair them. Everything else was on my dime. My dad made it very clear to point out to me that 1) cars are a privilege and a responsibility, and 2) cars are not cheap to maintain.

I did benefit from the "good student" discount offered through our automobile insurance. It essentially saved me $300+ per year on my insurance costs, which was a hefty savings. And yes, that discount was clear as day in my head while I was in high school. The incentive worked - good grades were money in my pocket. The car's maintenance was annoying, but as my dad explained that's life and I needed to be prepared to handle it. I worked a part-time job of around 15 hours per week around my high school schedule so I was able to handle the cost of maintaining the vehicle.

It was a classic beater for much of the time while I had it. The steering wheel would violently shake when stopped at red lights if the car was in drive (I'd just put it in neutral). It leaked fluids, and I marked my territory in the school's parking lot. Eventually the entire headliner started sagging so low that I ripped it all out, plus the insulation, so that the interior roof of the car was the metal shell. But it was transportation that got me from Point A to Point B, and it taught me some pretty valuable life lessons at an early age. When it was all said and done, I drove the car for 2.5 years and got around 30k miles out of it. I saved up my own money through part-time jobs that the car got me to/from, and I bought a new "used" car a month before starting college for around $3,000. We tossed a for sale sign in the beater's window, and it sold for $400 within a week or two.
TRC
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by TRC »

A car is a great first step into adulthood for a teenager, both for the financial responsibility of saving for it as well as maintaining it (insurance, repairs, has, etc).

You'll get a better response once we know the budget she has set aside. How much has she saved up?
livesoft
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by livesoft »

texasdiver wrote:I guess it depends on your geography. Teens around here rarely drive on the freeway.
I have many friends who do not let their teenagers drive on the freeways and a parent drives instead. They say it is too dangerous.

I always felt it would be pretty bad if my children were away at college or a new job and had to drive on a freeway for the first time with no practice. Clearly, some adults need more practice, too.

I made my kids drive on the freeways (especially on family vacations going to San Antonio, Corpus, Houston, Dallas, the beach, etc.), so that they got the practice. I think that practice makes driving on the freeway a little less dangerous. Also, I have seen how my kids drive, so it gives me peace of mind, too.
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Professor Emeritus
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by Professor Emeritus »

sunny_socal wrote:
texasdiver wrote: My new minimum is a midsize family sedan (Accord/Camry), or possibly a small pickup truck like a Toyota Tacoma or Ford Ranger. Airbags are fine and dandy but you can't cheat the laws of physics.
as you say, the laws of physics. unfortunately those same laws makes pickups very hazardous due to rollovers and non energy absobing frames.
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by Professor Emeritus »

I could not afford a driver's license until I was 18. I bought and supported all my cars myself. First new car, I was 37. In 46 years i had two "total" accidents both where I was stopped and hit by a moving car.
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by greenfire »

My children each got a car when they were 16.5. We live in a very rural area with no public transportation and quiet country roads. My son got a beater from his dad. I gave my daughter my old subaru. They were both good drivers. Of course I worried each time they were driving. I didn't let them drive other kids around at first. If I had the money and could do it over I would have bought them each a newish used volvo. They really are very safe.
flyingbison
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by flyingbison »

I didn't get a car until I was 18, after my first year of college. I bought a rusted out beater for $375 (the first of several over the next 6 years), after commuting to college on the city bus for the first year. It was not a safe car by any measure, but I never had an accident in it. I did get a speeding ticket the first week I owned it, and was very lucky that I did not get many more.

I still have 13 years before my daughter will be old enough to drive, and I'm not sure what we will do at that point. Both her mother an I had similar upbringings, and had to buy and maintain our own vehicles as teenagers, but this is one area where safety may outweigh our desire for her to be independent and "make her own way."
Nowizard
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by Nowizard »

We gave each of our boys an automobile when they reached age 16. The first son had a used Volvo since they had a strong reputation at the time for safety. The second was given an older Land Cruiser we obtained at what amounted to a giveaway price. It was what he wanted, he thought, but did not really want since it was a stick shift. We soon sold it for an automatic Maxima. These were all cars several years old. They each had a minor accident not involving injuries in the next three years. The automobiles were not only a convenience for them, but for us. They paid for the car insurance and gasoline themselves, and we covered maintenance. There were other restrictions such as grades, no speeding tickets, number of passengers, etc., but it worked out fine for us.
We were not of the belief that since we did not have cars or other things until later, had to earn them ourselves, etc. that they should not have them either. We felt there are things other than the financial aspect that represent "earning" items such as an automobile, things that represent achievements as important to adults as income such as good grades, respect for property and others, community service and a variety of other things that represent the relationship between achievement and positive consequences. We would have felt differently if we had not had the ability to fund automobiles and would not have been subject to "My friends have automobiles."

Tim
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HomerJ
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Re: Car for teen ager

Post by HomerJ »

markcoop wrote:I am wrestling with the same issue. Although I trust my children, I believe all people, especially young drivers, believe they are better drivers than they are. I also believe there are many bad drivers on the road today. It's hard to convey that it's better to be safe than right to a teenager. For these reasons, and more, I want to delay my children driving regularly. I hope to pick and choose times to give them practice based on weather, roads and my availability to drive with them. Of course, this means I have to drive them around. Sometimes they get rides from other kids, but I am not too comfortable about that either. I am not a worrier, but this is one issue that scares me.
They have to learn someday, and I feel it's better to learn about driving when they are spending most of their time driving the streets around your town, than learning how to drive when in college taking long road trips on the highway.

People say 18 year olds drive better than 16 year olds, so I'll just make my kid wait until she's 18 to drive! But the reason 18-year olds are better drivers is because they have 2 years of driving experience.
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HomerJ
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by HomerJ »

Our first daughter, we bought her a Honda Accord with 180,000 miles on it... It actually lasted 5 years (1 year of high school, 4 years of college).

Our second daughter got to inherit my old Honda Civic with only 100,000 miles on it... It's up to 150,000 miles, but she's still driving it today (she graduated from college last year).

My son will probably inherit my current Honda Civic in 4 years when he turns 16...

My kids are pretty fair apart in age, so this works for us... My middle daughter is 10 years older than her brother, so I will have been driving my current Honda Civic (bought 2-year used) for 10 years by the time my son gets it.

I had planned to get myself a cool car for my next car, but I bought a boat instead last year, so I guess I see another CIvic in my future... Maybe I can drive it for 15 years, and then give it to a (potential) grand-kid... :)
Last edited by HomerJ on Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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HomerJ
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by HomerJ »

Johnny Thinwallet wrote:Eventually the entire headliner started sagging so low that I ripped it all out, plus the insulation, so that the interior roof of the car was the metal shell.
Heh, I had to do the same thing for my first car (197x Chevy Nova)... Paid $500 for it, and put a $400 stereo in it...

($900 in 1986 was some serious money! I didn't have a girlfriend at the time, so I could spend all my burger-flipping money on my car)
markcoop
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Re: Car for teen ager

Post by markcoop »

HomerJ wrote:
markcoop wrote:I am wrestling with the same issue. Although I trust my children, I believe all people, especially young drivers, believe they are better drivers than they are. I also believe there are many bad drivers on the road today. It's hard to convey that it's better to be safe than right to a teenager. For these reasons, and more, I want to delay my children driving regularly. I hope to pick and choose times to give them practice based on weather, roads and my availability to drive with them. Of course, this means I have to drive them around. Sometimes they get rides from other kids, but I am not too comfortable about that either. I am not a worrier, but this is one issue that scares me.
They have to learn someday, and I feel it's better to learn about driving when they are spending most of their time driving the streets around your town, than learning how to drive when in college taking long road trips on the highway.

People say 18 year olds drive better than 16 year olds, so I'll just make my kid wait until she's 18 to drive! But the reason 18-year olds are better drivers is because they have 2 years of driving experience.
Perhaps. I also think they become better drivers through maturity, through seeing other kids get into accidents and other variables. I let my kid drive often with me in the car. Without having their own car, their are plenty of opportunities.
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whatusername?
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by whatusername? »

sunny_socal wrote: I don't have a teenager yet but after a couple years I will. I currently drive a Honda Fit and initially considered giving it to my oldest son.

However I've since had second thoughts. Perhaps a small car doesn't provide enough mass compared to other vehicles on the road. My new minimum is a midsize family sedan (Accord/Camry), or possibly a small pickup truck like a Toyota Tacoma or Ford Ranger. Airbags are fine and dandy but you can't cheat the laws of physics.
Be careful with small pickups. Not having much weight over the rear end can mean fishtailing in wet or icy weather (or over-exuberance, come to that). I drove one for a few years, and would add weight via cargo if it was particularly messy out.
likegarden
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by likegarden »

Our son had no need for an own car while in highschool. But when he started in a local college and lived at home, he needed a car. He needed to drive on a busy express way at 65 miles per hour, in ice and snow over winter, so we bought him a new relatively sturdy car with a 6-cylinder engine to handle traffic emergencies when they come up, also with little maintenance, it was a Chevy Beretta then.
He had his driver's licence at 17. At 19 he got a speeding ticket driving 70 on that 65 mph expressway, and also drove into a car which spun around on ice in front of him. Otherwise he was a responsible driver.
Last edited by likegarden on Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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black jack
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by black jack »

livesoft wrote:
texasdiver wrote:I guess it depends on your geography. Teens around here rarely drive on the freeway.
I have many friends who do not let their teenagers drive on the freeways and a parent drives instead. They say it is too dangerous.

I always felt it would be pretty bad if my children were away at college or a new job and had to drive on a freeway for the first time with no practice. Clearly, some adults need more practice, too.

I made my kids drive on the freeways (especially on family vacations going to San Antonio, Corpus, Houston, Dallas, the beach, etc.), so that they got the practice. I think that practice makes driving on the freeway a little less dangerous. Also, I have seen how my kids drive, so it gives me peace of mind, too.
Freeways are actually the safest roads in the country (as measured by fatalities per vehicle miles traveled): no intersections, everyone going in the same direction at roughly the same speed.

Teens in general (and teenage boys in particular) have the highest rate of crash involvement of any age group until we get to our 80s. Partly it's lack of experience, partly lack of sense. The longer you can postpone letting your child drive (without adult supervision), the better. When they do start driving independently, as far as possible forbid them to have other teens in the car (the distraction of dealing with friends while driving - and sometimes showing off for them - results in many teen crashes).

I grew up in a suburban area with no public transit and had a 7-mile trip to school (each way), so a car was all but essential. Although generally a sensible and responsible teen with straight As, I was still subject to teen craziness. My dad did a very wise thing: just before I turned 16, he sold our family's muscleish third car and bought a used VW Beetle for me to drive - max speed about 67 mph, 0-60 in about 2 minutes. It kept me out of trouble.

There was a looong discussion a few months ago of the pros and cons of buying one's teen a car with the new safety features vs an older car without the safety features: viewtopic.php?t=153419&f=11
We cannot absolutely prove [that they are wrong who say] that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us, and with just as much apparent reason. | -T. B. Macaulay (1800-1859)
hyla
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by hyla »

I was allowed to drive family cars in high school if we could work it out so my parents could still get to work etc. Realistically, this meant I had a car for most of the summer, when my Dad took his motorcycle, and in the winter we could usually work out stuff like carpooling or dropping each other off at work/school. Sharing cars can work, even in rural areas like where I was.

I bought my own car when I was 21, my parents gave me some money so I could afford a slightly less old and rusty car, but I covered the bulk of the purchase. The event that finally triggered me needing a car was moving to another state for a job.

If you do decide it's best in your situation to get your kid a car, I think anything cheap is fine. Really, the driver affects safety much more than the car. I never was in a wreck through high school and college despite spending lots of time in friends' small rusty cars with mechanical problems, probably because my friends were generally responsible, alert drivers.
flyingbison
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by flyingbison »

hyla wrote: If you do decide it's best in your situation to get your kid a car, I think anything cheap is fine. Really, the driver affects safety much more than the car.
One factor drivers can't control, though, is other drivers. I've had 2 major accidents, and in one of them I missed being seriously injured (or worse) by about 1 foot. Neither accident was my fault, nor could I done anything to prevent them.
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Crimsontide
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Re: Car for teenager

Post by Crimsontide »

We bought our daughter (only child) a brand new Honda Civic when she turned 16 in 2004. Why? The last thing I wanted to do was spend my weekends working on some beater car or have her stranded somewhere in the Metromess.I wanted to make sure she had good reliable transportation, got good MPGs and had a vehicle that would last her through college. Check, check and check, as a matter of fact she is now married, working full time and still driving that Civic with close to 200k miles on it.
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