Your Teen’s First Car – Why It Should Never Be New
It’s one of life’s events that parents dread most – when their teenager gets their license. Your teenager feels the opposite, of course, and can’t wait. With their license, they have a much greater degree of freedom. They don’t have to rely on you for transportation anymore, and they can essentially go wherever they want. From teaching them to drive to handing them the keys, it’s stressful for parents. Your main concern is your teenager’s safety.
You want your teenager to be safe, and you also want to make them happy. If you can afford it, you might be considering meeting both those two goals by buying your teen a brand new car, fresh off the lot. You’d be the coolest parent in the world, but you wouldn’t be the smartest. Your teen’s first car should never be new; it should always be used, and here’s why.
It Probably Won’t Stay in Pristine Condition for Long
I think it’s safe to say that just about everyone, when they first start driving, hits something sooner or later. It might be just a tap, a fender bender, or a very slight grazing, but it happens. Your teen’s inexperience with driving almost guarantees that the perfect, brand new car won’t stay that way for long. Accidents happen, and it’s just better for your teen to learn in a used car.
You should also consider the interior of the car. Is your teenager the cleanest and neatest of humans? Probably not. Take a look at their room; it’s a very good indication of what the inside of their car will soon look like, too. When they’re out and about driving with friends, it’s also practically guaranteed that there will be a few spills and mini trash collections inside. Again, better used than new.
Teenagers are Fickle Creatures
If you really want to make your teenager happy, you’ll probably consult them and find out what their dream car is. You’ll want to buy it for them so they’ll love it that much more. But if you really get your teenager the new car they want, you can bet that in a few years, maybe sooner, they’ll wish they had made a different choice. Teenagers are always changing their minds, and at this age their tastes are constantly evolving. If you buy them that lime green Escalade with rims now, they might feel pretty silly in no time at all. It goes without saying that since cars are a pretty big investment, it’s won’t be so easy to cater to their new preferences. Used cars can be replaced in just a few years without as much hassle or loss, and by then your teenager will be in their early 20’s with an at least slightly more sound opinion.
Used Cars aren’t So Bad After All
The truth is that if safety is your number one concern, there is no reason not to buy a used car. As long as it’s a safe vehicle that’s been thoroughly certified and maintained, it will still be safe. And with so many used cars on the market, you can easily find one that suits your teenager and makes them happy.
Dan Wright is an amateur writer and father of 3 who works in Nissan sales. He is an expert on automobiles and loves to write articles that help people make smart choices when it comes to buying a car.
Photo Credit: ACPL