It’s easy to spend quite a lot of money on things for your kids. When they are young, shoes and toys are a priority, but when your child is older and about high school aged, talks about having a car replace those discussions about toys and shoes. While a car will offer some independence to a child, it also offers independence to a parent. But, the cost of a car, especially in these hard financial times, has to be given serious consideration. So, here are some tips in finding the best deals on your teen’s first car.
To a teen, having a first car is exciting. They dream of being behind the wheels of flashy convertibles or having the perfect party transport. For parents, we look for safe and reliable vehicles.
While car lots line most major thoroughfares, not everyone wants to invest large sums on a new car for teens, but we know that the sliding scale for reliability changes based on the age and owner of a car.
Teens need to be educated about the expense of owning a car and the consequences of ownership (taxes, insurance, and tickets.) Once a parent is sure that their child is responsible enough, the search should begin.
The Search- Something Old, Something New, Something Bartered, Something Used
In looking for the right first car for your child, consider their needs, your budget and the source or seller. Once your schedule and your child’s schedule are set, you will know how durable the car needs to be. Given family finances, you can determine if installment plans or one time payment. If installments are the key option, look to work with a dealer. If it’s a one time payment option, you should look to used or privately owned vehicles.
Government, Charity, or Towing Auctions
When a car is abandoned by an owner, sometimes the authorities will have the car towed. Or some owners will offer the car to charities that raise funds for various causes. In either case, these agencies and companies can sell these cars.
Charities, governmental entities and towing companies will hold auctions at specified sights or even online. For example, Towing Auctions Online, found at http://www.towingauctionsonline.com/, you can find everything from scooters, motorcycles, trucks and cars.
Most of the vehicles are in working or reparable condition. Often, you can find a reliable car which needs only tires or battery. Cars can sell for as low as $ 200.00 to above $ 1000.00. Transactions are simple and titles are exchanged at the time of purchase.
Charities and governmental entities will also list their auctions and display cars for inspection
Junk Yards and Auto Parts Yards
A growing trend for do-it-yourselfers is to obtain car parts from lots that have junk cars. These same junk lots also have working vehicles available for sale. You can find everything from Audis to Volkswagens. The yards will have the cars on display and often offer vehicle history and listing of defects. Cars, trucks and SUVs are available from costs as low as $ 300.00 to $ 2000.00
Privately Owned Vehicles
One of the oldest methods of finding a car is through newspapers. There are specialty papers, like Trading Posts, which offer listings of cars for sale by private and business owners. And, with people’s increased reliability on the internet, private owners also list their cars, trucks and other vehicles on sites such as Ebay and Craigslist. Searching these sites, parents and their teens will find a wide range of cars of varying makes, models and years. Using these resources, its easy to find a car within your budget and one that is close to home. Also, many of these listings will indicate whether the owner is willing to negotiate or whether there are major issues with the vehicle.
While the non-traditional methods offer great opportunity, you have to know a great deal about cars and also be willing to risk purchasing a vehicle that may not be protected under warranty. For those not willing to take that risk, dealers are a great option. Dealers offer new and used cars for those with decent credit, down payments, and steady employment. With this method, parents will serve as the loan or transaction signer.
As for selection, cars can range from as low as $ 1000.00 for used vehicles to considerable sums for the newer and larger models. The advantage of buying from the dealer is the guarantees and the ability to be connected with a seller, who can be held accountable for problems with the vehicle.
Once the car is bought, insurance and maintenance costs will be an issue. It is good to know a trustworthy auto mechanic or to be friends with someone good with cars. Teens should at least take a class in basic auto car so that they can understand that a car is not a toy, but a machine that requires special handling.
Whether or not you are ready to face the fact that your child is growing up, buying your teen a first car will be a reality check for you and your child. This purchase is possibly one of the most important in their young lives and it’s a decision that should be given careful consideration. And, when looking for a good deal, you can find great deals in some non-traditional places. It’s best to keep your eyes and mind open to find the best buys for your needs and budget.