So, your once precious little boy or girl has somehow managed to pass their driving test and is desperate to hit the roads. This means buying them a car, and that comes with its share of stress and anxiety on both sides.
Your child probably has their eye on something a good five times out of your price range, and is hoping for a brand new, state of the art model to impress their friends. Meanwhile, you’re looking online to see if a car made of extra-strong bubble wrap exists, preferably at a pocket-friendly price.
There are probably a million and one things racing through your mind, but here’s what you should be thinking about when it comes to buying your teenager their first car.
Safety is, of course, the number one priority. The idea of your child going out on the roads alone is an incredibly stressful thought, so you’ll naturally want to do everything you can to ensure they’re as protected as possible.
This means you’ll probably want to look at a more recent vehicle that enjoys some of the essential safety features of today. It may cost a little more, but there’s no doubt you’d rather see your child with airbags and anti-lock brakes than in a suspect old banger you got on the cheap.
With that said, you aren’t made of money. It’s important you find a car that offers a balance of modernity and safety but also fits into a price bracket you can afford. Don’t push yourself outside of your financial comfort zone, as there’s plenty of great deals out there on reliable used cars.
Car supermarkets like Unbeatable Car offer a range of recent, fully serviced, small-engine vehicles that are perfect for a first car. Even if you’re really tight on budget, you can find pay monthly finance plans from well under £100 a month.
Size & Power
If you have a budding boy racer in the family, then they’re probably dreaming of a sporty hatchback with a two-litre engine. However, do not buy them a powerful car.
As well as the obvious safety benefits to having a lower powered vehicle, engine size will greatly affect your child’s insurance premium, which no doubt you’re on the financial hook for as well.
The cost to insure your teenager is incredibly high as it is. However, combine a high-performance vehicle with a 17-year-old with no driving experience, and insurers will be charging in the multiple thousands, or refuse to offer cover altogether.
Finally, once you’ve covered your priorities of safety, reliability and a good price, do spare a thought for your teenager as well. Your teenage years are the height of self-consciousness, worrying what others think and carrying a constant fear of embarrassment, so don’t put them in a vehicle they hate.
Perhaps once you’ve found a selection of cars that meet your safety and price criteria, hand the decision-making process over to your child. Not only will you have your teen’s appreciation, but you’ll avoid any ‘Simon in the Inbetweeners’ style mishaps.
Letting your child onto the roads is bound to be a nerve-wracking experience, so you might as well do your best to reassure yourself everything will be OK by buying them the right car. Follow these steps, and everything will be just fine.