Now that my husband and I are feeling more comfortable with my daughter’s driving, we felt it was time to purchase a car for her use. The reason we made this decision was not because we had several thousand dollars sitting around waiting to be spent; it was because the two cars we already own just didn’t seem like the best choices for our daughter to be driving.
I drive a minivan, which is not only needed for my primary use of transporting my other children, but which has also proven to be a bit too large and powerful for a small-framed new driver. My husband’s car has a manual transmission, or “stick shift”, which we felt would be a little overwhelming for our daughter to learn while still getting down the muscle memory of simply driving on the road. My husband spent a lot of time trolling the internet for cars that would be good for our teen. The primary selling point, after general safety, being price.
We had a certain price range in mind, not only because that is what we could afford, but also because neither of us felt our teenager had earned the privilege of driving a nicer car than either of the (working) adults in our home. We already know that our car insurance premium will rise considerably just by adding a teen driver to the policy, but we also had to consider that the type of car she would be driving could not only effect her safety but also how much we would be paying to have her insured. Even if our daughter’s safety was not our first priority, the newer and better equipped the car, the lower the insurance premium. In other words, the more safety features the lower the price of insurance. In addition, we didn’t want our daughter to have a car that was capable of going 200 MPH on the Autobahn. Our daughter is very sensible but when a car is powerful, sometimes a driver can find themselves speeding without even realizing it. In addition to safety and cost effectiveness, we wanted something that would last her a little while. We have the same policy for all big-ticket items we purchase our children: It is a one-time purchase. Mom and dad foot the bill one time; the recipient is responsible for any replacements. Our daughter will therefore be responsible for the purchase of her next car, whether it be in six months or six years. So, the search for the perfect combination of safety, price, and aesthetics continues!
Have you purchased a car for your teen? Do you plan to when the time comes?