My son turned 12 this summer — right around the time my husband's car turned 14, which means the end is nigh (for my husband's car, of course, not my husband). It raised an interesting question: Will whatever we buy as a replacement — our next "second car" — go to my son once he's old enough to drive? If so, my son would push for a Dodge Challenger or Ford Mustang as the replacement for my husband's older car, but what should parents be thinking about when considering whether their next vehicle will become a kid's car somewhere down the line?
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It's National Teen Driver Safety Week, so we're on the case.
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Parents first need to decide whether they will pass their current, aging car down to their teen driver or buy a new (or new to them) car for the teen.
Whatever you choose, there are good reasons to buy a brand-new car:
- You get the newest safety features
- There are no questions about the car's history
- You get a full warranty
- You can choose which features are important (to you, the parent) and which features you should skip for a teen driver (premium stereo, sport-tuned engine — I'm looking at you)
If you're getting a new car you will drive for a few years before it goes to your kid, it's easier to justify the cost. Likewise, if you're going to be driving the car first, insurance will likely be a bit lower by the time the kid gets it, after miles and years have been piled on.