Be Encouraged! Teach Your Children How to Buy Cars

Do your children know how to buy a car?

Buying a car involves work, saving, and self-sacrifice. It takes discipline and determination. Teaching a young person how to buy wisely will impact them for the rest of their lives. First, establish a budget. Are they going to cover the cost or are you willing to pay for half? Teach them about taxes, registration fees, maintenance, insurance, and gasoline. Costs vary among different vehicles. Determine if and what you’re able to cover. Will you pay for the insurance? For how long? What if they get a ticket or wreck the car? I also find that teens do best starting out with an older, reliable model. Teach them how to research by studying history and prices on websites like Edmonds, CarFax, and Kelly Blue Book. Teach them about depreciation. What models are the safest? What’s the expected lifespan? Which ones retain their value? Next, study online listings and the inventory at local dealerships. This step takes time as they learn to wait for the right opportunity.

Ideally, you buy from a trusted owner who’s kept good maintenance records. Upon finding one you both like, go together to inspect it, to test drive it, and make an offer. You may want a mechanic to check it out. My experience shows that most young people feel great pride and achievement in buying their own car. Don’t deprive them of that major step in life. Buying a car is a big decision and an important practical lesson to teach your children. So be encouraged! It’s an opportunity for you to emphasize good stewardship. 

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