Buying Your Teenager’s First Car? Read This

Has your son or daughter just passed their driving test? Fantastic. This is a new chapter in your child’s life where they will be eager to put their new skills to the test. They’ve already undoubtedly started planning where they want to drive to first. Now they have passed their test; it’s time to start thinking about buying them their first car. While you could leave this mammoth task solely up to them, this may be an unwise choice. They could buy a car based purely on the colour alone or choose something that is completely inappropriate for them. As their parent, it’s your responsibility to help them find the perfect first car. It’s likely that your idea of a suitable car varies drastically from your teenagers. This can make the process of buying a car difficult and time-consuming. To help make the process less stressful and more enjoyable for you both, take a look at the following tips.


Decide on a budget

Before you even start looking at cars online or visiting showrooms, you need to have a clear budget in mind. Look through your bank statements to determine just how much you can comfortably spend. Ideally, your teenager should make a financial contribution towards the car too. Even though it’s likely you will be putting more money in, getting your teen involved can be extremely beneficial. It will give their new car more value which will make them want to take better care of it. When you start considering a suitable budget, ask your teenager to help you find insurance quotes and the current price of road tax and petrol. This will open your teen’s eyes to how expensive owning a car can be and how responsible they need to become. It will also help you to establish just how much your teenager can afford in terms of running a car. This should also be factored into your budget.

You might have to come up with an agreement where they pay for the petrol, and you pay for the insurance and maintenance. They might need to start looking for a new job to pay for it. For advice on helping your teenager find their first job visit Once you’ve decided upon an appropriate budget, you can both start searching.

Research used cars

Even though your teen will probably have their eye on something brand new, used cars are usually better options for a first car. This is primarily because you can save more money on used than you can new. You could buy your teen a car that has been lightly used for almost half the price of a brand new model. Cars that are a bit older are also easier to repair because their parts are more readily available. This can make used cars cheaper to repair too. This is ideal as young drivers are at a higher risk of accidentally damaging their new car by knocking off a wing mirror for instance.

Start looking for used cars with your teen on sites like This will give you both a better idea of the size of engine you should get and which types of cars you can afford to buy. You can also read online reviews and visit different manufacturers websites for more in depth information. Doing this can help narrow down your options significantly. Compromise is something you with both have to practice during this stage. You will naturally want something that is as safe as possible. Whereas your teenager will prioritise finding a car that looks good over everything else. Listen to their ideas and take note of the type of cars they get excited about on the used car websites. You can check the safety features to see how they compare to other cars within your budget. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find a used car that you are both happy with.

Always see the car in person

Once you’ve found a suitable used car online, it’s always best to take a look at it in person before handing over your money. Online website photographs can only give you so much information and are often staged in a certain way. This won’t always give you the most accurate representation of the car. So taking the time to see the car up close is always best. You can use this opportunity to thoroughly check the vehicle over. Look for signs of damage on the body and repair work that has been done previously. The dealership should also be able to provide the car’s paperwork for you to look through too. Taking the car for a test drive is another thing you should do before you commit to buying. You can check the tyres and the steering, listen for strange noises and drive on varying types of roads. When inside the car, also look for the car’s safety features such as the seatbelts to check they are working correctly. Get your teen to sit in the car and drive it too if possible. They may fall in love straight away or feel that is isn’t right for them.

Always remember to trust your gut. If there are too many warning signs or the car isn’t what was advertised, walk away. The last thing you want is to buy your teen a car that isn’t suitable and doesn’t feel safe. Your teen may be disappointed, to begin with, but don’t let this pressure you into continuing. Just explain that you need to continue looking for something even better.

With these tips, it shouldn’t be difficult to find a car that is just right for your teenager. Once the sale has been completed, it’s vital that you organise insurance before they drive it for the first time. It will also be beneficial to teach your teen how to check the tyres and oil levels, as well as showing them how to use the car’s interior switches. For more tips on teaching your teen about car maintenance, see

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