If you’re someone who has got a child who is now 18 and wants their own car, you’re probably reminiscing about your first car too. Most of the time people have children in their early 20s or 30s, which at the hazard of a guess could put your around 40. So when you were going to get your first car, there weren’t many fancy options and the logistics of owning the car were few also. Insurance companies were still in a small group and not a lot of options were available. The basic cover would be far too expensive, but you bought it anyway. The cars selection wasn’t that great, but you still paid the price that was asked. You probably also had a picture of what kind of car you wanted and it never came to fruition. So now, your child is grown they’re in a far better position. They have so many options and knowledge of every single car is right at their fingertips. You know as well as they do, that buying their first car is going to be a process that will involve a clash of the cultures. You’ll be thinking practically, and they will be referring to the picture in their mind. Here’s what you can expect and what you should consider doing.
Be practical and economical
If you asked your teen what kind of car they would like, they’d probably say the name of a sports car. They can definitely dream of owning that kind of car one day but for now, they need to be practical. Talk to them and tell them that their first car is not about style, it’s not about how they look driving it, and it’s not about being popular with your friends. Your very first car is merely a stepping stone. It will be practical, by getting them to work on time, to their school, to the shops and generally just being of help. Of course they can use it for their own leisure time like on road trips etc.
The cost of running the car is a big concern for the longevity of being able to actually use the car every day. Things you should keep in mind are, the economical performance of the car in the real world. For example, an old car might have a 1.5-liter engine, but despite it’s small displacement, it guzzles fuel and behaves like an engine that is twice that size. Older technology and engineering is just worse than the modern day. Yet, a modern car that uses a 1.1-liter engine, might be less economical than a modern car that has a 2.0-liter engine. The 1.1-liter engine might have to work harder to get up to speed and then maintain it. In the city it is fine but on the highway it might be the opposite. Yet the 2.0-liter car is a little worse in the city, but better on the highway. Thus it balances itself out. Depending on what your child needs the car for, pick the engine and efficiency performance accordingly.
Can they actually drive it?
When you’re a young driver, your foot seems to do most of the thinking when you get behind the wheel. Teaching your children about the dangers of cars is something that you should take as seriously as you would any other ‘grown up time’ talk with them such as finances and relationships. There are thousands of people dying on the roads every single year, it’s really no joke. Some cars are more difficult to handle than others, especially since you’re not experience at all. The only cars your kids have probably driven is your’s with some supervision, their test or learning car and that’s it. They don’t have much reference for the feel of different kinds of cars.
The cars that you may want to avoid seeing as it’s their first car are cars that are rear-wheel drive. The power from the engine is transferred to the rear, which does two things. It can compress the car when accelerated which makes the car jolt downward, and then release when the accelerated is no longer being pressed. This can cause sudden oversteer, spinning the car around when going around corners. The other is, wheelspin is easy to do accidentally when applying just a little too much throttle. Drivers of rear-wheel drive cars have to be wary of these things. Unbalanced cars are often easy to drive out of control. Cars that are light in the rear, are prone to also spin around when either applying too much cornering angle, or lifting off the throttle through corners; even if they are front-wheel drive.
Deciding on the insurance
The insurance is the second largest expense for the car after buying the car itself. You can bet your bottom dollar that yes, it will be more than you are paying. Insurance companies are driven by trust. They don’t know what your son or daughter is like behind the wheel. They can’t take into account the test scores and performance when your child passed. It could be just by the skin of their teeth or with flying colors. They simply have no reference to go by, they are dealing with a stranger. Hence why, many insurance companies will take this opportunity to give you deals that sound like you can either put up or shut up.
You don’t have to take a big hit to your wallet for the first-time buy of the insurance, as there are cheaper alternatives. Some companies offer newer styles of insurance that are bare-bones basic, to just below the standard comprehensive deals. Look for something cheap here, since you have many options and different choices of companies to go with. Some cover varies, depending on what your age is, how much you drive, how far you drive each week or month, as well as the neighbourhood in which you park your car. On the other hand, comprehensive deals are much more flexible, and they are designed for the majority of drivers on the road. Some companies will even offer you discounts with the right package, so you truly have a lot of options to choose from; it all depends on how much you’re willing to spend or save for that matter.
Get them to contribute
Since it is their car, why shouldn’t they contribute somehow? If they’re going off to college and they can’t work then that’s fine. They can help to maintain the car properly, such as buying oils, washing liquids such as shampoos, maybe even an all-weather wax. No doubt you’ll also be giving them gas money to run the car, but then they should be making themself available when their car is needed. For example, now that there is an extra car, how about they go shopping instead of you, and you can go run an errand somewhere else? Pitching in now that they are growing up and driving, is part and parcel of being an adult. They can drop the kids off at school in the morning instead of you, or they can go pick them up. Make them useful and show them that a car isn’t just for fun, it’s a practical tool that makes life easier.
Your children will have a picture in their heads of what kind of car they want. Most of the time, their lofty illusions won’t be transforming into reality. Buy them a car that is practical and economical. Preferably, one that can seat four people, but doesn’t cost a lot to run. Look high and low for the best kind of insurance coverage for their particular needs.
I hope this has been valuable to you, but if you have any top tips let us know in the comments section below. Good luck.