Buying a Car for Your Children – A Smart Move

If there’s a set of teenagers in the world that would rather walk than own their own set of wheels, point ‘em out to us — we would love to see it with our own eyes. Most of the time you’re going to find that your children are going to hit driving age and definitely want a car of their own. However the big question is whether or not you actually buy the car for your children in the first place. It’s tempting to just assume that your children won’t need a car, but our society is changing. We are becoming less mass transit and more personal car all the time, and that’s something that can give parents pause. As your children reach the age where they will be going off to college, you will need to really think about the type of transportation they have.

Yes, a car is a big purchase, and even if you have a down payment saved up, you’re still adding another bill to the house. The insurance for a new car can be massive, especially when you’re talking about a student driver. It’s a lot easier to assume that you shouldn’t buy the car, but that’s not a straight answer either. You see, you will need to stop and realize that now is the time where your child will need your help more than ever. If they try to go it on their own, they’re going to be paying a lot of money in terms of ownership costs. It’s a lot easier to get them a starter car.

What you will need to do is make sure that you look at your budget. It’s tempting to assume that you won’t have any problem with the car, but what about the future? You want to make sure that you get a car that has a payment you’ll be able to manage no matter what happens. If you had to take a salary cut, could you still be able to manage that car payment and the insurance for your child? Using an online car loan calculator can help you really make sure that you’re able to really afford the car. You don’t have to get a new car either — your bank should be able to help you get a small car loan, especially if you already have a down payment that you can show them. As always, make sure that you pull a copy of your own credit report so you can really make sure that you have an idea of what’s there. The last thing you want is to have to correct negative information, or worse — leave it and know that it’s pulling down your credit score to places where you don’t want to go. A lower credit score means a higher interest rate, or being denied for a car loan outright. Having a co-signer can help you still get a car loan, but why would you want to go down that road if you can avoid it. The co-signer would always worry about you defaulting on the car loan, and it can create a lot of bad feelings if you bail on it and they’re held liable for it. Just keep this in mind if you really want to do something like get a car loan.

If you want to make sure that your child isn’t just getting a free ride, you might want to sit down with them and set some ground rules. You will need to let them know what you expect. For example, if you want them to have a certain grade point average in school, you need to tell them so. If they fall below that, they are given another semester to fix it. If they continue the crash, then they will need to give up their car keys. The focus is on education and improvement. If they’re not willing to improve, then you’re going to need to be the tough cop and take away the distraction.

Once you are upfront and honest with your children, you’ll find that they’ll have a lot more respect for you. One of the big things that teenagers hate is when you assume they can’t handle something. There are a lot of things in the world that require attention, and teenagers are at the top of that list. If you want to strengthen the bond between you and your children, you’ll have an actual conversation. Making threats and demands will only make things worse.