So, you’ve gone through the terror of being driven around by them, forked out a small fortune on their private lessons, and your teen has finally passed their test. Now, there’s just one last thing to do; get them their first car. There are many important factors to consider when choosing the first car to get your teenager. Here are few handy pointers which will point you towards the right model.
My first piece of advice is not to go too small. When a lot of parents are first looking around for cars to get their teens, they’ll automatically go straight for the smallest of models, knowing that this will be the most cost-effective. Yes, there are a lot of smaller models on the market today with tiny carbon footprints, and tiny market prices. However, on the safety side of things, it’s better to encase your child in sheet metal. It’s not a pleasant thought, but they’re going to make at least one mistake in their first year or two on the road. If you’re lucky, this mistake is going to be backing into a sign or making their car lurch into the one parked in front of it. However, there’s a slim chance that it will be more serious. In the case of a full-on collision, you want them to be in a big, beefy car that’s capable of absorbing the impact.
Having made that last point, try to stay away from monstrous gas guzzlers. In all likelihood, your kid is totally broke, unless they happen to be some description of tech genius who’s managing a successful company. Since you have kids, you’re probably pretty darn broke yourself! Due to this, you should be targeting a car that does at least 20 miles to the gallon. The car will be cheaper to run, and insurers such as Belairdirect will almost always give cheaper premiums for lower gas mileage. Aside from these selfish benefits, you’ll be doing your bit for the environment by sticking to gas-efficient models. This will ensure that the world your kid lives in is a little more habitable when it’s their turn to buy their kids a car.
Finally, stick with automatic models (no pun intended). If you’re in your middle age, you were probably forced to drive a stick-shift for a while before your parents would let you anywhere near an automatic. While I totally understand wanting to put your kids through the same miseries we had to go through, this is one area where we should really move with the times. It’s nearly 2017, and barely anyone drives a stick-shift anymore. Manual transmission is gradually being phased out all over Canada and the States. Even if you do find a stick shift for your kid, getting it for them will only make things difficult for them when they buy their next car. Though you may not think it, learning to drive in a manual and then switching to an automatic is extremely hard to do. It’s one thing when a nervous teenager makes rookie mistakes, and another entirely when someone in their mid-twenties does it!