Now that your Katy, Texas teen has completed drivers ed, passed their Texas licensing exam and received their driver’s license, it is time to start thinking about buying another car. Sure, you could share the family vehicle with your teen, but that gets old fast. If you are in a position to buy a car for your kid, keep your Katy auto insurance agent in the loop. They can quickly provide quotes for the various vehicles you are considering. In the meantime, study up on a few things to keep in mind when buying a car for your teenage driver.
Breaking the News
Few things thrill teenagers more than learning they are getting their very own car. As exciting as the moment may be, it is also the perfect time to set some ground rules. First, will you be footing the entire bill, or do you expect your teen to contribute? Some parents buy the car but have their teens chip in for their Katy car insurance policies. Others simply require their teens to pay for gas. Consider setting some conditions for the use of the car too. For example, let them know that if they are in an accident or get a ticket during the first 12 months, they will not be allowed to use the car for a certain period of time.
Check Out Used Cars
Like most parents, you are probably planning to buy your teen a used car. If you are ready for a new car, though, you might consider giving your teen your current car and buying a brand-new one for yourself. Either way, keep these points in mind while looking at used cars for your teen driver:
- Safety – You will breathe much easier knowing your teen is driving a safe vehicle. Consult safety ratings by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the NHTSA before pulling the trigger. The ideal car should have at least six airbags along with safety features like anti-lock brakes and stability control.
- Size – Stick with large, heavy, sturdy vehicles when shopping for wheels for your teen driver. Midsize sedans are ideal because they are heavy, large and relatively low to the ground, which gives them a low center of gravity that minimizes the risk of rollovers.
- Engine – Buy a vehicle that has the smallest available engine for the model you are considering. This will help keep fuel costs in check and, more important, it will keep your teen from having too much power at their disposal, which can increase the odds of engaging in risky behavior.
- Price – After identifying a make and model you like, consult Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds.com, Consumer Reports and other car-buying advice sites to get an idea about how much you can expect to pay. Bring along printouts of what you uncover to ensure that you are not taken for a ride at the used car lot.
- Vehicle History – Pay the $10 or whatever it costs to have a vehicle history check performed. The last thing you need is for your teen to end up in a car that has been pieced back together after a major accident.
At first, your teen should have a graduated license that forbids them from driving around with tons of friends and that places other restrictions on when, where and how they can drive. Set your own rules too and tell your teen that if any are ever broken, they will lose their driving privileges–and their car. Insist that they turn off their phone before hitting the road, and consider buying a monitoring device or using a monitoring app to keep track of how your teen fares behind the wheel. One final note: When looking for car insurance, consider getting a policy from the same carrier who provides your Katy homeowners insurance, as you may qualify for a discount!
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