Your teenager is finally ready to drive and has their license to prove it. Now it’s time to find the right vehicle to set them up for success. Choosing the right car for your teen can seem a little overwhelming at first. You want to be sure to choose a car that will keep them safe without completely breaking the bank. To help you make the best possible decision, here are a few tips you can use to find the best car for your teen driver.
Read up on the car’s history
Used vehicles are ideal for teen drivers because you don’t need to worry about the car’s value depreciating when your child inevitably makes a mistake on the road. However, it’s important to do your research on the history of the vehicle to make sure it hasn’t been involved in a car accident in the past. Vehicles that have been involved in past accidents can have long-lasting damage that may not always be visible.
Inspect the outside and inside of the car
It’s important that you not only do your research on the vehicle’s history but also that you thoroughly inspect the vehicle. CARFAX recommends sitting in each seat in the car and looking for signs of wear and tear. Musty smells and stains could be a sign of water damage of which there are three kinds: clean, grey, and black water damage. You don’t want any type of water damage in your teen’s vehicle.
Be careful with tinting
Many drivers like tinted windows because window tint can block out 99% of harmful UV rays while also keeping the inside of the car a mystery to potential thieves. However, if you’re choosing a vehicle for your teen that has a window tint, make sure that the tint is legal. Windows need to be covered with tinting that allows more than 35% of light transmittance and reflective material isn’t permitted. Additionally, tinting is only allowed on the top five inches of the windshield.
Let your teen take the car for a test drive
While some parents like to keep their teen’s car a surprise, it actually might be a better idea to have your child come with you to pick out the vehicle. Since your child will be the one driving the car, be sure to let them test drive the vehicle after you take the car for a spin. You want to be sure that your teen feels comfortable behind the wheel and feels that they can easily maneuver the vehicle in and out of parking spaces.
Consider the price and responsibility
Your teen may know the basics when it comes to driving. They know not to use their phone when they’re behind the wheel, they know how to parallel park, and they know the federal blood alcohol limit is 0.08%. But if this is the first time your teen has ever owned a car, the price and responsibility aspect of the vehicle will be entirely new to them. Because of this, consider including your teen in on conversations about gas mileage and prices, maintenance and repair costs, and insurance costs. Seeing the financial side of owning a vehicle will help them not only make a smart choice when choosing their first vehicle but it will also help them when they choose to buy a new vehicle in the future.
It can be challenging to find the right car for your teen driver. You want to be sure the vehicle is safe, reliable, and affordable. By following the tips above, you can feel confident that you’re making the right decision when the time comes to buy your teen’s first car.