A recent article in Daily Finance reports that buying your teen’s first car can be challenging to say the least. Above all, parents are looking for a safe vehicle that can reduce the risk of injury if your child is involved in a Charlotte car accident. Teens, on the other hand, are looking for a sporty, cool-looking car loaded with in-vehicle technology that can keep them entertained while they drive from point A to point B.
Winston-Salem injury lawyers are here to remind parents that sporty doesn’t always equal safety so weigh your options before you purchase your teen’s first vehicle. Teen drivers are the age group most at risk of a car accident so make a smart choice that you both can live with.
Things to consider:
- Valuable lessons learned. Teach your teen the value of having a car to drive at this age by making them understand that it is a privilege not a birthright, there are financial burdens placed on a family by adding another vehicle and keeping up with their peers isn’t always possible.
Set up a car fund that the teen can make contributions to in order to help the teen understand that money for monthly payments, car maintenance, insurance, and gas are all needed to own a car.
- New vs. Used. Purchasing a new car is sure to provide all the safety features such as air bags, electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes. A new car will also require less maintenance and money spent on repairs. Most used cars can come equipped with the same safety features beyond a certain model year but could require more routine maintenance and constant repairs if you aren’t careful.
The downside to a new car is that the monthly payment will be higher and the vehicle may come standard with in-vehicle technology which can distract your teen driver when they are behind the wheel. A certified pre-owned vehicle is a viable option because it offers an extended warranty to help with maintenance and in all likelihood, better financing rates than a new vehicle.
- How to Save on Insurance. Adding your teen to your policy is typically the cheapest route unless the vehicle you choose for your teen is particularly expensive, in which case you may want to set up a separate policy. There are discounts offered by insurance companies that you should pursue in order to keep the premium as low as possible. Good student or dean’s list honorees and defensive driving courses offer sizable discounts and should be taken advantage of if applicable.
- Rules of the Road contract. Many parents find it beneficial to establish a parent-teen contract that you and your child agree on which can set rules and boundaries to be met and followed. A clear understanding of rules and violations can help set the mark to safe driving behavior and the rewards and consequences which will follow.
For a sample of a teen-parent contract, visit North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles online.
To research safety and crash-test information for vehicle model and year, visit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or safercar.gov.
For tips on how to save on gas mileage or a side-by-side comparison on fuel efficient vehicles visit fueleconomy.gov.
If your teenage child has been injured in a North or South Carolina car accident, contact the Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential appointment with a personal injury attorney. Call 1-800-887-1965 today.
Buying Your Teenager’s First Car: What You Need to Know, by Sheryl Nance-Nash, Daily Finance
Statewide Graduated Driver License Laws Could Reduce the Risk of Teen Car Accidents in North Carolina, Nationwide, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 20, 2011
In-vehicle Gadgets, Bells and Whistles to Blame for Injuries Caused by Charlotte Car Accidents, > North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 14, 2011
Parental Involvement Reduces Risk of North Carolina Car Accidents Involving Teenagers, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 22, 2010