Buying Your Teenager’s First Car

It’s going to happen sooner or later, your children are going to become teenagers and start driving. We feel your pain, it hasn’t been easy watching our own children get behind the wheel and drive off into the sunset, probably at a faster rate of speed than we would like.

We took a poll around the dealership at what the deciding factors were in choosing cars for our own teenagers. We polled the sales managers and their sales team, the finance office, the accounting office, the service advisors and the service technicians, the parts department, and the collision center.

Here is what the professionals are concerned with.

As you can see from our spiffy pie chart, the responses were in line with concerned parents all over putting safety as their number one priority. The second highest category was reliability of the vehicle and payment and insurance coverage came in third.

As far as safety goes, our concerned parents mentioned everything from extra side curtain airbags and OnStar capabilities. These are features that are available on most new models as well as several pre-owned models. No matter which one you choose to test drive, ask about additional safety features that might not come to mind immediately like Forward Collision Alert and OnStar’s Automatic Crash Response.

If you are looking at a pre-owned vehicle for your first time driver, ask about the warranty options that come with the vehicle. Ask a lot of open ended “what-if” types of questions and don’t be afraid to tell your sales team member, and your teenager, that you would like to think about this big decision and won’t be pressured into signing any paperwork today.

A few more things that came up in our survey were things like size of the vehicle. Our parents didn’t want their new driver to be able to pack a bunch of their friends in the car, but at the same time weren’t comfortable with them driving something too small either. Our parents were also concerned about insurance for the new vehicle. It’s a great idea to have a conversation with your insurance provider before coming to the dealership because the cost of insuring a new driver might sway your decision on which types of vehicles you will want to test drive.

No matter what you choose to purchase, or where you choose to purchase, make it a memorable experience! A first car is a right of passage and a memory that will stick with your teen for the rest of their lives. Take lots of pictures and go for ice cream afterwards! Good luck and happy car shopping!

Joey's First Car '99 Convertible Cavalier
Joey’s First Car ’99 Convertible Cavalier

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