Not so long ago, your child was just a toddler, reaching out their pudgy little hand for you to hold as they crossed the road. It seems that no time at all has gone by and now they’re suddenly old enough to not only cross the road by themselves, but to actually drive a car!
Our parental instincts stay with us regardless of the age of our children so when it comes to your teenager’s first car, it’s no wonder that safety is at the top of the list of priorities. If you’re buying a car for your child, here are the top considerations to ensure you make the right choice:
- What will the car be used for? Sounds like a silly question, but will they be driving younger siblings around? If so, consider suitability for car seats and for youngsters to safely get in and out of the car.
- Brand new or second hand? Cost will probably come into the equation for this one, but take into consideration the cost of any repairs on an older vehicle that may outweigh the upfront cost of having a new car warranty.
- Not all new cars are created equal! Be sure to research and compare safety ratings and features of new vehicles. Look closely at items such as airbags, brake systems, crash test results, reversing camera, electronic stability control.
- If buying a second hand car, have a professional mechanic do a pre-purchase inspection. Although it’s not a guarantee that the car is in perfect condition, it will point out any weaknesses that need to be addressed and give you a realistic view of the condition of the car. You can come and see us at any of our service centres for a pre-purchase inspection.
- Once you’re happy with the car you’d like to purchase, make sure it is clear who is responsible for the upkeep. Who will pay for petrol, insurance, repairs, service and general maintenance?
In their eagerness to get on the road (and look cool), your teenager may be pushing for a little red vintage convertible, but when push comes to shove, you can always pull out the ‘parent card’ and remind them just who is paying for it. J