Does Your Teen Need a Car Now?
Thinking of buying your teen a car? Taking off your chauffeur’s hat and having your teen run errands for you may sound appealing, but consider this: Research shows that teens with cars drive more and crash more. Many experts recommend parents wait until their teens have been licensed for at least six months before they get their own car. Be sure to weigh all factors as you decide.
Teens who have a vehicle reserved for their use are twice as likely to experience a crash as teens who share a car with other family members.
Does Your Teen Need A Car Right Now?
Often, the answer is “no.” Having their own car is a privilege for teens — not an entitlement. AAA encourages you to wait before getting a vehicle so you can gauge three key factors:
- Readiness: Has your teen demonstrated safe, responsible driving behavior? Make sure you have a parent-teen driving agreement in place and your teen has been driving successfully without you before handing over the keys.
- Finances: Can you and your teen afford the cost of a car, insurance, gas and maintenance? Have you established who will pay for the vehicle? Take time to find a safe car that fits your family budget.
- Involvement: Before you make a purchase, evaluate whether your teen is ready to own, operate and maintain a vehicle. Involving your teen in the purchase process can be a great learning experience regarding the costs and responsibilities of vehicle ownership.