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Cars for teens

Sbkangas5

Senior Member
Just curious what everyone did when it came time for their kids to drive. We live in an area where tons of kids get new cars (nope, nope, all sorts of nope). Our three kids have shared 2 hand me down cars. DD (3rd year in college) finally needs to take a car with her to school and we are disagreeing on what we should do. I'd love to get some perspectives other than the rich, new car people we know! ;)
 
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kahluablast

Senior Member
When our oldest started driving, I bought a new car that we shared (it was time for a newer/safer car). We shared that car until it was a need for her to have a car at college and then she took that (now older car) and I bought another not new car. I was planning on doing the same thing with that car with my youngest (4 years apart) but my mom stopped driving about that same time and they gave their car to dd to drive. I felt really fortunate, because at that time we had less money to put into a car due to helping both with college costs.

Can the two still at home share one car and let oldest take one to college? Does she have any funds to help with a car? If we were in that situation and neither of the previous ideas worked, student in college would probably have to figure something else at. Can she take the bus/bicycle or Uber? Can you find a beater car for one of them to use?
 

Ima Spedtcher

Senior Member
I was just thinking about this today. My kids all ended up driving the car they used to ride in car seats when they were little. My daughter’s first car was my old Toyota Echo- it was about 11 years old when my dd started driving. She crashed it though, so I didn’t get to pass it on to my boys. My sons currently share my old 2011 Prius- they also have a 1997 ford bronco they can use, but they fight over the Prius because they both hate stopping for gas 🤣. If I had to buy my kid a new to us car, I would go for cheap, dependable, and good on gas mileage. I would not spend more than I would be willing to lose in an accident.
 

rana712

Senior Member
When our daughters started to drive I shared a car with them (DH worked in the city and I work in our town). It was definitely tricky at times and required a lot of negotiating, a lot of carpooling and finding alternative rides. DD1 got a new car her third year of college. It was a no frills small Mazda and at the time it was around $10,000. She paid for the insurance and we paid the payments while she was in school. After she graduated she picked up the payments. She kept that car for about 10 years. DD2 still doesn't have a car and she is her late 20's.
 

TAOEP

Senior Member
When our sons were driving age and living at home, we had two cars. I needed one to get to work, but my husband's car was available during the day because he commuted by train. They had the use of a car, but not 100% of the time. Evenings and weekends had to be negotiated, depending on who needed transportation.

Our older grandson has been driving for about a year. His dad was ready to replace his own car after maybe 8 years (can't remember for sure). Instead of trading in the old car (or selling it), he kept it for DGS to drive. I'm sure it was an expensive decision when you consider the car's value and the insurance costs, but it has worked out well. I think DGS and DS have an agreement about DGS eventually buying the car. In the meantime, he drives it to school daily which enables him to take an early bird class (no bus that early), etc. It saves his parents a lot of chauffeuring time.
 

Ima Teacher

Senior Member
DH bought a used Scion tC for DSS. He found it before DSS was old enough to drive it, but it was a good deal and he bought it. DSS drove it all the way through college and even later. He bought a new Camry in early 2019, which would have had him driving the other car for like 10 years, maybe?

Most of my friends with multiple kids either gave their kids old family vehicles or bought each kid a used or new car.

My parents weren’t rich by any means, but I did get a new car for my 16th birthday. I drove it for ten years, and when I got tenure I bought myself a new car. My mom took my old one and drove it for another 11 years, then sold it to someone who drove it for another 5 years. Definitely got their money’s worth with it.

DSS and I were both only children, which I’m sure makes a difference. I know one family with five kids, and they send their kids off to college with a car, but they don’t have one before then.
 
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Song of Joy

Senior Member
We bought a stick shift, underpowered, mini-pickup with room for only 2 in the front seat when our boys started driving. We figured it would be hard to go joy riding in it.
 

sevenplus

Senior Member
My car is 14 years old. I intended to give it to my 17-year-old and get a new one for myself but it hasn't happened yet because I just bought a house and really don't want to spend money on a new car right now.

My brothers and I all had to buy our own cars. We all got jobs at 16, saved our money, and purchased our own. My brothers drove mom's car until they saved enough money. I didn't drive mom's car but waited until 17 to get my license and own car. I can't remember but I assume our parents cosigned on the financing, but we made our own payments.
 

Sam5

Senior Member
My mom actually gave each grandkid an old bigger what we called a “grandma” car when they turned sixteen. We lived far out in the country so they did really need it. They had to pay for their gas and part of their insurance.
 

Teach 5

Senior Member
My DD’s shared the family van with me when they were of driving age. When it came time for them to get their own car, about the 2nd year of college, we purchased a used car for them and they made payments to us for it. We paid the insurance until they were 26 and we offered gas money when we had some to spare. They started working at 16.
 

teachnkids

Senior Member
When our DS started driving we gave him the sedan I had been driving and we bought a minivan for me. My rule was that I wouldn’t have an older car than my kids. Well….that didn’t quite work out when it was time for DD to get a car. We weren’t giving her the minivan and we found a great deal on a used car that was one year newer than the minivan!

Those were considered their car when they started driving, but they were really outs and they knew if they “messed up” in any way we could take the keys!
 

WordFountain

Senior Member
My son just turned 4 so I’m not in your boat yet, but when I began driving this was my experience. We also lived in an area where there was no public transportation and everything was just far enough to need to drive - walking or biking was not an option.

When I started driving (summer before senior year) I bought a 10 year old Honda Accord hatchback off of my youngest uncle for a few hundred bucks. My mom wanted me to have a bit of a larger “safer” car. She negotiated that I “trade“ the car back to my grandfather in return for his old 10 year old “built like a tank” Audi. It had no AC but a moonroof and 4 doors! I drove that until it stopped working. Before I left for college my dad got me a very used older car. Nothing fancy but served it’s purpose. Our agreement was that full-time school was my job. (I absolutely realize how lucky I was.) I worked in the summer in order to pay for gas/spending money throughout the year.
 

ASAM

Senior Member
I would not buy a new, expensive car for daughter (or myself for that matter). I don't really care about cars, though. New cars depreciate quickly and I see them only as a way to get places. I'd get a used dependable car and ask her to contribute some money towards it. That way she will feel more responsibility in caring for it.
 

Renea

Senior Member
We plan on giving our used Rave4 to our grandson since he now has a learners permit. We'll buy a new car for ourselves to replace it. Our kids really don't have the money to buy a car for him at this time. I know that just paying for the insurance for a teen driver will be a big addition to their monthly expenses.
 

Violets2

Senior Member
When our first wanted a car, he got a used car with low mileage. He then had to pay for the gas. We did pay for the insurance. He was working a few weekend hours to pay for gas and his spending money. His schooling and sports were important so we didn't want him quitting sports to pick up more hours to pay for the insurance. DD got a used car as well when it was her turn because DS's car was with him at college.
 

ktcher

Full Member
I am hoping we can continue that until they are done with college. Insurance is expensive on a newer car and I would love for them to put off that cost as long as possible.
 

Cinderella00

Senior Member
No new car for DS when he started to drive. We're rural, so no alternative transportation and even bike riding to a friend's house is too far. But no way was I getting him a car we'd have to repair if/when he damaged it. We got a used car with 250,000 miles on it. Lasted him about 3 years until he took over DH's car when DH could no longer drive due to his dementia.
 

SteelerFan

Senior Member
My kids bought their own used, safe vehicle with money they had worked and saved since they were old enough to earn extra chore money. We helped with insurance and gas until they were through college.
 

Sbkangas5

Senior Member
Thank you for sharing your experiences and perspectives! It helps to hear what other people are done. I love where we live but sometimes it really skews everyone's perspectives of what's reasonable or "normal". ;)
 

Lottalove

Senior Member
Well, good luck with whatever you decide to do-- Don't let peer pressure get to the kids or you... I am in an area where the poverty level is fairly mid to high and there are not many "wealthy" around. Yet, somehow, most of the kids who drive seem to have relatively nice vehicles... Go figure. There is a lot of pressure to have a nicer vehicle in HS.

Of course, it doesn't help that we live in the Midwest where there is no public transportation for the most part. I did not have a car in HS or College. I bought an awful but cheap car out of college that did the job.

DD also lucked into a vehicle due to a grandparent. She drove it for about 10 years. It was a Ford Escape so it was good on gas mileage and relatively cute.
 
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