If you are thinking of buying a vehicle for your teenager, you might be feeling overwhelmed by the many options and factors to consider. You want to find a vehicle that is safe, reliable, affordable, and suitable for your teen’s needs and preferences. In this month’s blog, we share some tips to help you make the best decision for your family.
Set Expectations in Advance
Before you start shopping for a vehicle, it is important to have a clear and honest conversation with your teen about your expectations and boundaries. For example, you might want to discuss:
- Who will pay for the vehicle, the insurance, the maintenance, and the gas?
- What are the rules and consequences for driving behavior, such as speeding, texting, drinking, or having passengers?
- How will the vehicle be shared among family members, if at all?
- What are the criteria for choosing a vehicle, such as safety ratings, fuel efficiency, size, and features?
Having these discussions in advance can help you avoid conflicts and misunderstandings. It can also help your teen understand the responsibilities and costs of owning a vehicle.
Shop for Safety
Safety should be your top priority when choosing a vehicle for your teen. You want a vehicle that can protect your teen in case of a crash, as well as prevent crashes from happening in the first place.
Some of the safety features to look for include:
- Anti-lock brakes
- Electronic stability control
- Backup camera
- Blind spot monitoring
- Forward collision warning
- Automatic emergency braking
- Lane departure warning or keep assist
You can check the safety ratings of different vehicles by visiting the websites of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). These organizations conduct crash tests and evaluate how well vehicles perform in various scenarios.
In addition to safety features, if you are purchasing a used vehicle, it is advisable to check the vehicle history online with a service like Carfax. This will show you any accident history and the maintenance history of the previous owner(s). It’s also advisable to have a reliable and trusted service professional look over the vehicle and inspect important high dollar items, such as:
- Exhaust System
You want to choose a vehicle that your teen will enjoy driving and feel comfortable in and suits their personality, lifestyle, and needs. You also want a vehicle that has features that can help your teen stay safe and responsible on the road.
Some of the features that can make a vehicle more teen-friendly are:
- Bluetooth connectivity, which allows your teen to make hands-free calls and stream music from their phone
- Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which integrate your teen’s phone with the vehicle’s infotainment system and display apps, maps and messages on the screen
- Parental controls, which allow you to set limits and monitor your teen’s driving behavior, such as speed, location, curfew and volume
- Spacious interior and trunk, which provide enough room for your teen’s friends, gear, and belongings
- Stylish design and color, which reflect your teen’s taste and preferences.
Buying a vehicle for your teenager can be a daunting task, but it can also be a rewarding experience. By following these tips, you can find a vehicle that is safe, reliable, affordable, and suitable for your teen. You can also help your teen become a better driver and a more responsible vehicle owner. If you are looking for advice on a vehicle for your teenager, contact the service professionals at Campus Repair.