So, your son turned sixteen today and you already know what he’s expecting. You feel as though it’s your parental duty to buy him a new car for his birthday, but there are some things you should stop and think about before you start financing.
Remember that your car search should begin online. Dealerships list their cars on their websites and that greatly reduces the pressure sales people can put on you in person. Before you worry about financing, you need to check ratings and reviews on any car your son might like. Look for important safety features like number of airbags, crash test ratings and overall reliability over looks and brand.
Whatever you do, don’t think about financing a brand new or luxury car for your new driver – even if you can afford it. He might consider him to be responsible behind the wheel, but you also have to worry about other drivers out there, too. He is a new driver and his insurance will already be high – don;t make it higher by adding a luxury vehicle to hat insurance bill. You shouldn’t even consider financing a new BMW as a first car, when used Hondas and Toyotas are incredibly reliable and much less expensive. Toyotas in particular are extremely reliable, cheap to fix, and inexpensive to buy outright from a private owner or a dealer. They also go on ticking to over 200,000 miles in many instances, and a well-taken-care-of higher mileage car may turn out to be more reliable and cost effective than a brand new car – as well as costing a great deal less.
When you’re talking to a dealer, he’ll suggest that your son test drives it. While he should drive it to get a feel for it, you need to drive it too, when he’s done. You have been driving for far longer than he has. If something doesn’t feel right, you’ll know. He might be impatient to get the first car he sees and falls in love with, but you must help him curb his enthusiasm for a quick reality check. You don’t want to sign financing papers on the first car he likes because it looked really sporty or it has an awesome sound system. There might be something else safer and more reliable out there, that will save you both more money in the long run.
Always keep in mind that you’re financing this purchase, so what you want is important too. Use your experience and driving know-how to help your child out, and they’ll wind up with a car that will last them for many years of safe driving.