Should I Buy My Sixteen Year Old A Car?

As soon as they hit sixteen, your teenager is going to be begging you for a car. They’re old enough to drive and their friends are getting cars. They vow that they will be responsible and never make reckless decisions.

Some of their arguments are convincing. Getting them a car will save you a lot of time you’d otherwise spend driving them around. Maybe they’ll even take their younger siblings to and from school every day. It’s tempting.

But is it a good idea? It’s no exaggeration to say that there’s a lot at stake. Let’s look at some of the things to consider when deciding whether to buy your sixteen year old a car.

Financial Considerations

Let’s get the least important stuff out of the way: the financial considerations. Even if you buy a cheap car with cash, you still have monthly fees to pay. Insurance is a particularly expensive one, seeing as premiums are priced especially high for teenagers.

Incidentally, if you’re considering getting life insurance for yourself, you might start to think about getting it for your child. Depending on which type of life insurance you get, this is not necessarily a bad idea. Whole life insurance is a kind of investment which will pay out a lot of money when they eventually retire. However, as you do not rely on your child for income, it is certainly not necessary to get them life insurance.

Other than insurance, there are maintenance costs and gas. Even if your teen is earning some money, they may still require your help. If you can barely afford a car for them in the first place, these costs may tip your budget over the edge.

Now, what are the safety considerations about buying your sixteen year old a car.

The Risks

Your biggest concern when buying your sixteen year old a car is going to be the risk of them causing or being in an accident. Unfortunately, teenagers do have a much higher rate of car accidents than any other age group. A relatively high proportion of these collisions are fatal. This is why many parents are terrified about the prospect of their teen driving.

Your teen is going to be driving regardless, whether it’s your car or theirs. However, if you don’t buy them a car, they will have a lot less opportunity to drive. Considering the stats, not buying them a car may seem like the logical conclusion. But there is one more thing to consider.

Their Friends

One of the arguments your teen might make is that all of their friends have cars. This may be a compelling argument, but not necessarily for the reason they think it is. The fact is that they are going to be passengers in their friends’ cars, whether you like it or not. Depending on their friends, this may present more of a risk than your own child driving.

It is impossible to truly determine whether your teenager is a safer driver than their friends. As much as you have tried to ingrain a sense of responsibility in them, adolescence is a stage of life in which people typically feel invincible. This is an actual psychological phenomenon and not just an observation of how some teens act.

That being said, you are better able to monitor your teen’s driving behaviors. You can lay down some rules about when they are allowed to drive and when they should ask you for a lift. You can keep an eye on them to ensure they’re not driving home from parties under the influence.

You can’t do this with your teen’s friends, and other parents may not be as present as you are.

Regardless of what you do, your teen is going to be traveling in cars operated by teenagers. It is up to you to determine whether they are safer driving regularly in their own vehicle or occasionally being passengers in their friends’ vehicles. There is no easy answer, especially considering how much is at stake.

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