So, your teen has recently received their Driver’s License, and you’re looking to celebrate and reward them with a vehicle all their own. Few things in life are more exciting for a newly-privileged teen than getting their first car that’s all their own, but this can be stressful for their parents.
On top of the basic stress that comes with your teen being out on the road by themselves for the first time comes the stress of trying to figure out the right vehicle to buy them. Naturally, you’ll want something that is safe and reliable.
With so many options available, it can be hard for parents to know which vehicles are the best for their new teen drivers, especially if they’re looking to get a great value for their investment.
Auto auctions are an excellent option, offering access to a wide selection of vehicles at prices that are often better than dealerships. Thankfully, we’re here to help simplify your search and make choosing the right car less confusing. To assist, here are some tips for when you’re shopping around for your teen’s new car.
Consider Safety Rating and Features
As a parent, there’s nothing more important than the safety and well-being of your child. Therefore, when choosing a car for your teen driver, you’re going to want to keep safety ratings and features at the forefront of your mind.
In general, newer cars tend to offer more safety features than older cars, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a safe and reliable vehicle that’s an older model year. For example, older models may have been quicker to adopt certain features than before those features were mandated and became commonplace.
Safety ratings are important to consider, such as the 5-Star system used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. You can easily research the crash test rating and test results of any vehicle you’re shopping for, and you can even watch demonstrations of the experiments themselves.
A key safety feature to keep in mind when shopping around includes blind-spot warning systems, which can help your child avoid a crash by monitoring when vehicles are hidden in their blind spot before merging or turning. Other important features to look out for include forward-collision warnings and automatic emergency braking systems.
Consider Potential Tradeoffs
While it would be great if you could get your teen the vehicle of their dreams, that’s not possible for most of us, and probably not a good idea in most cases. After all, your teen may be completely reasonable and responsible, but would you want them behind the wheel of a McLaren when they’re just starting out?
For most parents, buying a vehicle for their teen driver is a delicate balancing act of figuring out what is the safest, most reliable, most practical, and ultimately, what is actually affordable. A good starting point is figuring out whether or not you can afford to buy new or used. While buying new may offer certain advantages, such as access to the latest features, this isn’t always practical or even an option.
That being said, there’s nothing wrong with purchasing a used vehicle for your teen driver. As long as they’ve been properly researched and inspected to ensure their safety and reliability, they can offer many advantages to teen drivers.
Used cars are often purchased outright rather than leased or financed, so there’s no need to worry about ongoing contracts. When buying a used car, you may also be able to get a great deal on an excellent vehicle that you wouldn’t be able to buy new.
Consider Overall Ownership Costs
Any vehicle you buy will require basic maintenance to keep it up and running for years to come; it’s just one of the costs of vehicle ownership. But of course, costs for this maintenance can vary greatly and can also depend on the condition of the car when you get it and how it was maintained prior.
Luxury, newer, and more obscure vehicles like imports and brands that are no longer manufactured may come with higher overall maintenance costs than other options. In addition, luxury cars and newer automobiles may have higher-end technology or specialized components that can be expensive. At the same time, more obscure vehicles can be hard to find parts for or experienced mechanics that know how to work on them.
When shopping, be sure to look out for reliable vehicles that are easy to find parts and mechanics for. If shopping for used cars, be sure to obtain a vehicle history report to see how it was treated over the years and to get a better idea of its overall condition.
Be Sure to Shop Around
When browsing for the right vehicle to get your teen, don’t limit yourself to only checking out the local combination Ford-Toyota-Hummer-McDonald’s dealership and subjecting yourself to the shopping experience of dealing with salespeople.
There are potentially more cost-effective alternatives, like used car dealerships, contacting private sellers, and checking out both online and in-person auto auctions.
So, if you’re trying to find the right car for your teen driver, consider placing a bid on an online auto auction in Dallas, TX. Even if you’re not in or around the DFW metro area, SCA offers delivery solutions to help you get your vehicle wherever it needs to go.