So, your teenager just got their driver’s license. Scary! Thankfully! Sad! Overwhelming! Exciting! Worrisome! Oh, the emotions have been rolling through my veins since my daughter passed her driver’s test. If you have a teen in your family, I am sure the topic of getting a car has been brought up numerous times in your household. The big question is, do you buy a car for them or do you let them work and buy their own car? Here are some questions you need to ask yourself first and what options are available to them after you have answered the questions.
Do they need the car or do they want the car? Does your teen really need a car or do they just want one because all their friends have one? If they go to school, then to soccer practice, then to their job at the fast food joint, then they may need a car. However, if they just want a car to bring their friends to the mall every Saturday, then they probably don’t need a car.
What kind of grades are they getting in school? So, your teen wants a car, but how are their grades in school? If they are getting D’s and F’s, maybe they are not yet responsible enough to handle having a car.
Who will be responsible for the car’s expenses? Once your teen does get a car, who will be paying for the expenses on the car, like gasoline, insurance, maintenance and repairs?
They pay for the car themselves- If the car is merely a want and not a need, consider having your teen find a way to pay for it themselves, such as using money from their job.
They pay half of the car– They save up a certain dollar amount for their car and you match that dollar amount. So, for example, if they manage to save up $3,000 from their summer job at the yacht club, you match that $3,000, giving them $6,000 to purchase a car.
You pay for the car yourself– If the car is definitely a need, consider paying for the car yourself. You can put limits though, such as they are not getting a fancy sports car, but instead are getting a used car.
There’s no reason why a teenager needs a fancy sports car. Period.