5 Ways to Prepare for Your Teenager's First Car
Everything They Need to Ensure Safety On the Road
Everyone has to grow up at some point, and getting older typically means learning how to drive. You may feel uneasy about your teen behind the wheel, but there are ways to help your family get used to the idea. Here are some ways you can prepare for your teenager's first car.
1. Research Insurance
Young, inexperienced drivers aren't going to drive perfectly at first, which is why it's so important to find the right insurance. Insuring teenagers can get expensive, but there are often ways you can get a discount, like making sure your teen takes an approved driving course. The amount of coverage you want may also depend on the condition of the car your teen will be driving. Prices will vary, which is why you should research companies to find the best insurance quotes online.
2. Set Rules
If you only want your teen driving to certain places at certain times, it's easier to set boundaries from the start. You should decide who is going to pay for car upkeep and other expenses like insurance, gas, maintenance and cleaning. If your teen is prone to distractions, it may be a good idea to limit the number of passengers in the car, especially if you don't know if other parents will be comfortable with their children being transported by an inexperienced driver. At the beginning, you might advise your kid to stay off the highway or avoid driving at night. Setting some boundaries from the outset can save you a lot of time spent worrying later.
If you or your child will be buying the car, you should think about setting a budget ahead of time. Setting expectations early can help avoid disappointment at the dealership. Even if you're not buying a new vehicle, you should make sure your teen understands the cost of owning a car. Make them aware of routine maintenance costs, like oil changes, and make sure they stick to recommended maintenance schedules. Doing the little things to take care of a car can help prevent big, costly issues later on. You may also want your child to pay for gas, and you should talk about what happens if there ever comes time when your teen can't pay for these expenses.
4. Evaluate Safety
If you're shopping for a new car, you should make sure the car is equipped with at least some basic safety features. Airbags, anti-lock brakes, and traction control are all desirable. Things like cameras and lane departure warnings are useful, but may not be available in older cars. You should also make sure your child is aware of basic safety procedures when driving. With a little practice, you can train the eye to spot potential problems as you walk out to your vehicle. You should be examining your tires and looking for puddles underneath the car. This can help you spot leaks or damaged tires. This can also help you decide when you need your tires to be replaced, since worn tires can be dangerous, even deadly, in the rain or during winter.
One of the most effective things you can do when preparing your teen for the road is simply talking. Taking them out for a drive can be stressful for both of you, but maybe once you're back in the driveway, have a conversation about your own driving experiences. It's likely you have years of experience at this point, and no one is a perfect driver. Sometimes having a casual talk can work better than a lecture, and your teens may remember those stories as they take to the road for the first time on their own.
Watching your child grow up may be bittersweet, but there are plenty of ways you can help prepare them for the world. Learning to drive is a huge step, but this can also teach teens a lot about responsibility. With these tips, you can both feel better as you embark on this new chapter.