Tips For Helping Your Teens Responsibly Buy A Car

When your kids become teenagers, you may dread the fact that their driving days are not far away. However, as the time arrives when your teens are going for permits and then licenses, you may be surprised at how much power you have to still be a good influence on your teenagers. If your teens are already looking for way to buy their first car, here are some tips for guiding them through this exciting process.

Tip #1: Look at New Cars for Sale

Take your teenagers with you when you go to buy a new car of your own. One way that you and your teenagers can have fun together while they are daydreaming about the future is "window shopping" for cars. While you are assessing which vehicles best fits your needs, allow your teenagers to explore car lots to see which motor vehicles they most want to buy. This is also a time when you can encourage or discourage certain choices.

Tip #2: Set the Ground Rules Early

Be sure to communicate what you expect your teens to accomplish before you let them buy a car. This is a conversation you may even have when they are a couple of years from being able to drive. Before your teenagers apply for a driver's permit and take that first written test, let them know what you expect.

This is a time for ultimatums, if you have any. For example, you may have a rule that your teenagers must never text and drive or drink and drive. Set severe consequences for breaking those rules, which may include losing your help in buying their first car. That's one way to really get the attention of teens with dreams of owning a car.

Tip #3: Teach Them About the Down Payment

If you plan on financing your teenagers' first cars, you'll likely still want them to understand the down payment. Whether you require them to save the entire amount of the down payment or part of it, one of the first things teenagers will learn about buying a car is that there typically needs to be some money invested up front. There are exceptions, of course, and knowing that stellar credit is one of the ways to avoid a down payment may motivate teens to be responsible with credit in the future.

Finally, keep in mind that you will set the tone for how your teenagers deal with their driving responsibilities. The same is true for their car-buying experiences. When you emphasize the importance of responsibly working towards their goals and hold your teenagers accountable for what they need to do to successfully complete their first car purchases, you will help set them up or success in other areas of their lives, too.