Buying Your Teenager’s First Car – New or Used?
You may not have looked forward to this day, but it has finally arrived…your teenager now has a driver’s license. On the one hand, it is a good thing. You won’t have to drive your teen around anymore, as your teen can now drive. On the other hand, the only car now available for your teen to drive is yours. You’ll likely have mixed feelings about that! Again, with mixed feelings, you decide that the best solution to this problem is to get your teen a car, which will absolutely thrill him/her. Cars are a means to independence for everyone, including teenagers. Many parents think that the way to go with this is to buy an older higher-mileage car. Such a car will be less expensive to purchase and less expensive to insure, but there are drawbacks to going this route, as I’ll describe below.
Let’s not forget that your teen is very precious cargo, and you have spent your life in an effort to keep your child, now a teen, safe. Why then, would you trust your teen’s safety to an older used car with dated technology and safety systems? On top of that, what do you know about this older car? Do you know what issues this model has? Do you know what recalls are out on this vehicle, and whether or not this car has had its necessary service work to correct any problem?
The fact is that there is no way that you can learn the history of most used cars that you might purchase from private sellers. The other thing with much older, cheap cars is that they often cost you more in the end than a new one, as their need for maintenance and replacement parts will be greater. Also greater, is the risk that this older car might break down on your teen when you least want it to do so. It is hard to budget for emergency repairs, especially if the repair costs are coming out of your teen’s pockets.
For my money, as a parent, it is safer and more budget conscious to purchase a new vehicle for your teen. This way, you and/or your teen can budget for the regular car payment, knowing that your teen’s new car will be under full warranty for a number of years, and will need little maintenance. Furthermore, you will know the history of the car from day one, and you’ll know it is safe.
New Ford vehicles have industry-leading high safety crash ratings, as well as a host of features meant to look after vehicle occupants. Such features include up to seven interior airbags, 911 assist, SOS Post Crash Alert, fuel cut-off switch, Advance Track Roll Stability Control, Adaptive Cruise Control, and BLIS. Especially because we’re considering a teen driver here, let’s not forget Ford SYNC that allows hands-free cell phone calling.
In the end, isn’t your teen’s safety while they learn new driving skills of the utmost importance? Buy new!