The Advantages and Disadvantages of Getting a Car When You Turn 16
Talk to almost any 15-year-old kid, and they will tell you that they want a car for their sixteenth birthday. That could be one of the greatest things to ever happen to them, but is it a good idea?
Freedom. For most kids, having a car means having the freedom to go to friends' houses, going out to lunch, going to the mall, and countless other things. This is great for a lot of kids that do not want their parents driving them to friend’s houses or to school, because they think it is not cool or something. Also, they can drive themselves to save their parents trouble, or when their parents simply cannot take them somewhere. Kids will want to go out to lunch or dinner with friends and not have their parents have to take them. So having a car at sixteen years old is like having the world in the palm of your hands for most kids.
Personality. Well, your mom’s car doesn’t really let people know what you are actually like when they see you driving. You can add personal touches to your car that just scream your name, and always have your favorite music playing when you turn on the stereo. Put fuzzy dice in the mirror, fancy seat covers, whatever you want! It’s all yours. My friend put a Flowmaster muffler on his truck, and it perfectly describes who he is.
Go Where YOU Want to Go. When you want to go to your friend’s house, you don’t have to bug your parents. Parents, you don’t have to worry about hauling your kids and all of their friends from place to place. That makes your schedule really busy, especially fitting that in with work, and meals. How stressful! Kids with cars can go places even when their parents are not home. Also, during lunch at school, kids can go places at lunch and not be stuck in the cafeteria eating lunch.
Insurance. Yes, it’s true – insurance for sixteen-year-old kids is extremely expensive, and not every family can afford it. Insurance for sixteen-year-old boys is even more expensive than for girls. To help with this, if your son or daughter gets good grades in school, then the insurance company can trust them more not to get in a wreck, get a ticket, etc. So a good student cuts insurance costs, so you can afford other things as well. When your child actually has a car under their name, the price also goes way up. This does depend on what make, model, and year the car is, but those things aside, it will be more expensive. Find ways with your insurance agent to get as many discounts as possible.
Cars are NOT cheap. That’s right, cars aren't cheap! Finding a good, safe car for your kid to drive at a reasonable price is not easy at all. Add the cost of the car on top of the insurance cost and you have huge bills flooding your mailbox in no time. Cars at decent prices can be found on craigslist any day of the week! Just make sure the car is in good shape, has low miles, and runs well! No, you won’t find good cars dirt cheap, but you will find good prices. See if you have any friends or family members looking to sell a car, and see what kind of deal they can give you. Just do your research and you will find a good cheap car.
Trust. One of the most important questions you will ever ask yourself when deciding whether or not you will buy your son or daughter a car is, “Can I trust them?” Well, that is completely up to you and your kid. Think about how much money you will spend on the car, and if you can trust them with something that expensive. Sixteen-year-old drivers get in wrecks all the time, because they think they can do anything in their car. (I would know. I am sixteen years old. :) ) Can you trust your new driver with an investment this big?
No, I didn’t get a car when I turned sixteen, but I did get to drive a relative’s car to school for a week. I got pretty lonely driving by myself, but it was still awesome. Going to lunch and not riding with a friend was a blast. However, I was not terribly sad when I had to give the car back. Now when my dad’s car would usually sit at the airport, I get to drive it. Fun stuff. I will get my own car someday…