Your kids' first car.

  1. My daughter is turning 16 this June.
    We are contemplating on whether or not to buy her a truck.
    My question is this. How many have bought a first car or truck for their kid?
    Is it better to have them buy their own first car?
    Should we go halvers with her?
    She has already bought her first vehicle (a motorcycle) and almost has it paid off.
    She has maintained an after-school job for almost a year now and is a very responsible kid.
    No matter what we decide the truck will probably be in the 3-4 thousand dollar range. A dependable vehicle but not new. I have been looking and there are many trucks that meet that description.
    What have you done for your kid or what advice do you have for me?
  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   nursedawn67
    My daughter bought my car, but we ended up knocking the price down quite a bit. She is the proud owner of a 1997 Chevy Cavalier.
  4. by   BadBird
    A year before my son got his license he was working part time, we made him save enough money for a year's worth of insurance. When he got his license we bought him a 1986 Ford F150, ok it is old but it runs well. My hubby taught him how to put on new front and rear breaks, change the oil, etc... The first time he drove his truck to school he had a flat, had to change the tire in 20 degree weather with snow and sleet. He came home freezing but said how glad he was that he knew how to change his tire. We also bought him a tool kit for christmas, he looked confused when he opened it but it did come in handy.
  5. by   cwazycwissyRN
    My brother made a deal with his kids, it was based on a percentage of their grades. If they maintained a certain average(each kids needs were different) then he paid for half of their car payment. This was contingent, that they not get into any trouble that involved the police. He believed in rewarding positive behavior. If any problems with the police (ie. dui ect) then they had to resume full payments.

    My husband and I paid for my daughters first car, if that is what you call it. It was more like a old boat. It was a large old car, I believe an oldsmobile. Thought it was safer. Thought if she wanted a nice one she could figure that out for herself.

    Looking back, I do wish I would have taught her the responsibility of buying it, or most of it, herself.

    It was such a nice tool for consequences. GIVE ME the CAR KEYS, your grounded, puts the fear in kids. For that I was glad I could say "no it is not your car. That is my car, I paid for it." She couldn't argue that.
    Good luck Rusty, there are a hundred and ten different pieces of advice you could get on this one.
  6. by   night owl
    Jimmy worked at McDonald's and saved $800 for his car, a 1993 Ford escort. Then he sold it for $1000 after he put some work into it. He then bought a 1995 Ford Escort with 32,000 mi on it, mint condition for $400! It was an old ladies car and she wanted to get rid of it. He sold it for $1500. Do you believe it? His latest is a 1993 Saturn with EVERYTHING it. Even has a sun roof and auto alarm. Beautiful color, metallic maroon, hidden head lights, 6-CD changer. He says , "It's a chick magnet." I don't see all the chicks though...don't tell him I told you that! I'm still drivin around with a tape deck for cryin out loud. It had 75,000 mi on it when he bought it and paid $1200 for it at the auto auction. He has yet to teach me how to drive a stick!!! I used to know, but need a refresher course. Anyway, he's been buying his own cars since he was 16. And does he ever treat it like his baby. God forbid you leave ANYTHING in it. He washes it every other day...the sucker is always clean even the engine gets degreased at least once a week! He's 17 now and also pays for half the insurance. It doesn't hurt to teach them responsibility and besides, they appreciate it more because they have something to show for all of their hard work which raises their self esteem. That after
    school job really paid off! They take better care of it because they
    paid for it themselves. Thank God he does all his own work on it
    too, it saves him money. My husband taught him everything he knows.
    Last edit by night owl on May 9, '03
  7. by   whipping girl in 07
    I drove my dad's pickup truck to school during my jr. year and most of my sr. year, then my parent's used my college money (since I'd gotten a scholarship) to buy me a car. All the maintenance and insurance I paid for. I had a fender bender about six months later and I had to pay for the damage (only had liability, so I was out about $1300 of my savings, most of what I'd saved from my summer job).

    It was a lot easier on me to concentrate on school without having to work so much to make a car payment. I imagine we'll do something similar when Ian is old enough for a car. I don't know if we'll buy him something when he's 16 or wait till he's older. I guess that will depend on him. Considering our history, I'm sure we'll have something around for him to drive when he's old enough, since we always seem to have at least one extra vehicle.

    You should buy her the car and make her pay for her education!!
  8. by   jnette
    Thier dad was the mechanic and was great at picking out a good used vehicle... nothing fancy for first car.. they usually get a few nicks and dents 'til the kids appreciate them and respect them!

    He would pick out the car based on mechanical intactness, and make sure it was a price they could afford. We would help with the insurance until they were well on their feet in the working world. Both cars were under $1500 and held up for many, many years ! If they wanted something "better", then it was up to them to work and pay for it.
  9. by   WashYaHands
    My daughter turned 16 last August. My husband gave her his 92 Jeep Cherokee. She works part time to pay for her gas and insurance. She has a lot of activities outside of school, so her having her own car helps me, as I don't have to drive her places or be without my car.

  10. by   itsme
    My daughter is not quite 16, but we got her a little Mazda MX6, so cute!! Now she will have something to learn in and test in and then to drive to work in!!
  11. by   Whisper
    When if first passed my test, I used my mums car,and then I went to uni and needed my own car. My parents pay my insurance on the car, and I paid for the car my self, and the tax repairs etc are paid by me.
    The car cost 900, (Which I think is about $1444) and the insurance is about that, so it is almost like we went halves, but it was fantasic when I go the DVLA documents through registering the car to me.

    My car may not be much to luck at but its reliable, and gets me to work and placement.
  12. by   P_RN
    School here was a 90 minute bus ride over dirt roads. When the kids each turned 15 they got their daytime licenses. At 16 you get the unrestricted one. It took me a while to understand it but in my hubby's family there is a car hierachy. I got the "new" car, hubby got mine, dtr got dad's car, son got dtr's car.

    Then if we got me a new car the formula went to work, son's car went to a cousin or dear friend. Of course we take very good care of our cars. I also haven't had a "new" new car since 1988. We buy previously owned cars with low mileage. I got a '93 Buick with 9,000 mi on it in Jan 94. It cost 8500. The previous Aug. it had cost 15,000.

    A niece and a nephew were able to get jobs because they each had a car. Our son's best friend was able to get a better job because he got a car.

    Our children are grown now so the formula isn't quite the same. But everytime our niece sees us she tells us how much the little red car we gave her meant to her. Our nephew was finally able to get from under his parent's control at age 26! (Other factors at work there too).

    So long answer to a short question, Russell yes you should get your daughter a car.
  13. by   Spidey's mom
    Hi Rusty . . Our elder son paid for 3/4 of his pickup and then we paid the insurance. Both our boys were very involved in sports and we also made sure they put their school stuff first. My husband's thought was they needed to keep their focus there and not on a job. They did farm work during the summer and have also cut firewood and actually have worked on their grandparents ranch since they were very young, so its not like they haven't worked a day in their lives.

    However, I'm thinking with our daughter (and toddler when the time comes - yikes!) we may require them to help out more financially. Our second son does not have a car/truck and he is 18 and ready to leave for college soon. He has gotten two speeding tickets in our van. Rolled his brother's pickup on a dirt road. (we made him pay for all of this). He seems to have no sense of responsibility and I think we made it easy for him in not requiring him to pay for insurance and gas. When things are handed to kids, they don't care about it. I'd tie something kind of financial responsibility into your daughter having a car. Make it a thing she earns . . . a privilege instead of a right. Good grades. No tickets. No reports of irresponsible driving (we live in a small town and lots of people tell us about Matt's speeding problem - ANOTHER benefit of rural living :-) Good luck. steph
  14. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I would never GIVE a kid something with as much responsibility attached to it as a car. I would demand he/she at LEAST invest some serious sweat equity to pay for it. My son, as immature as he is for age (and always has been) won't be driving til he is 18, way he is going. I told him he will NOT be learning to drive til I am fairly confident he can handle it and NOT kill himself or others out there. Sobering was a friend's son's death last Christmas at age 16 behind the wheel of a car. I don't think many kids are READY for such a huge responsibility at 16. Even if the LAW says they may be.