Buying their first car is a huge step for many teens. Whether planning on picking up the tab or not, parents are a valuable resource that teens unconsciously look to for guidance. What can you do to help?
Tip #1 – Think Safety
Giving your kids the tools to stay safe on the road cuts down your stress level a lot.
- Minimize distractions: Hands-free devices or stereo systems with steering-wheel controls help new drivers keep their eyes on the road.
- Invest in good tires: Fresh treads provide better traction in bad weather and react faster in emergencies.
- Make sure teens aren’t stranded: Even if used cars are all your teen can afford, make sure that key components – brakes, motor, transmission, radiator and battery – are in good shape.
Tip #2 – Let Your Teen Express His or Her Personality
Expect teens to want to show off to friends. Expressing themselves is a good thing, so try to be flexible if they request certain colors or styles. Black steel wheels do make a huge impression after all.
Tip #3 – Provide Hands-On Instruction
Show teens what to do and what to avoid firsthand. If they’re begging you for 4 inch lift kit, take them out in your own off-road vehicle so they can see the difference in handling and know what to expect.
Tip #4 – Research Models Online
The internet is your friend when car shopping. Check out everything from gas mileage to possible maintenance issues before buying anything. Look for models that fit your teen’s lifestyle.
Tip #5 – Stay Calm
Teach teens to be responsible but to not panic if they mess up. Having good bumpers for trucks means that accidentally hitting the mailbox while learning to back up isn’t the end of the world.
Shopping for a first car can be an awesome experience that draws parents and teens closer together. Do research, have some fun and check online parts stores for style items and tire and wheel packages to put the finishing touches on the right car or truck.