Deals on wheels: Should you buy your child a car?

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    June 4, 2014 12:50 p.m.

    I was lucky to get my own car when I was 17, a gift from my parents of a 20 year old VW Bug. But it wasn't MY car, it was just another family car that I happened to drive. This discussion is very amusing to me, buy a cheap piece of junk that can get the kid around town. If it dies then it dies, you fix it. This car ended up dying going up the Point of the Mountain, it just gave up, it did the job around town but nothing more. Was I done a disservice by having this car? No! Damage probably would have been done had I been given a newer car or the car I really wanted, not some rusty piece of junk with a hole in the driver's seat (I pretty much sat on the floor of the car).

    As for college tuition, I look forward to paying for my kids to get through school. The best gift I was ever given was that of being debt free at the end of college. Anyone who suggests dropping huge debt on a young adult is a good thing is surely and badly mistaken.

  • Beulah South Jordan, UT
    June 4, 2014 8:05 a.m.

    I was the oldest of 7 children, so my parents were overjoyed to present me with keys to the two family cars when I got my license. They said "you are now the family chauffeur." I was delighted to have the use of the cars for myself, and in the process learned more adult responsibility in coordinating and caring for the rest of the family.

  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    June 3, 2014 1:02 p.m.

    I realize my case is rare but I bought my first car while still 12 years old. It was a fixer-upper that I expected to work on myself. My dad was not privy to the transaction and when he found out, he sold it.

    Two years later I bought another car; a gmc pickup truck. Dad knew about this deal and immediately co opted the vehicle for all family uses altho' I retained first position after what was deemed good for the family. (My sister wrecked it.) I bought another almost identical. (I earned "man's wages" at the time even as a young boy; this was in the sixties when $3.75-$4.00 was pretty good)

    For my kids I let them apply to use the family vehicles but encouraged and assisted them to buy their own. I co-signed, added the vehicle to my own insurance policy and/or negotiated and guided in buying and maintenance decisions. They had to pay and if they didn't the car was sold or insurance canceled, etc..

  • Danny Chipman Lehi, UT
    June 1, 2014 9:45 p.m.

    NO. Next question, please.

  • Longhornsrock Temecula, CA
    June 1, 2014 2:32 a.m.

    There is another option here that I didnt see. My parents bought the car I used and I had to pay them back for it. I had one year to pay it back. So they chose my car, knew what it was like (like you mentioned in the first option), I had to pay them for it, pay for gas, and insurance. I was given a gas card (to make sure I always had gas) and then I had to keep reciepts to prove which gas card uses were mine if I used it. I didnt have to pay for oil changes etc, but that was because they were handled at home.

  • Idaho Dad Pocatello, ID
    May 31, 2014 10:59 a.m.

    As parents who haven't even provided children with their own phone, purchasing a car for them has been out of the question. I guess that puts us somewhere between options 2 and 3. If you want your own car, go for it. Otherwise, you may drive "Mom's" or "Dad's" car on occasion, with permission, and within certain rule boundaries. So far, 2 of our 4 children have graduated from universities without a car and they survived just fine.

    Whatever you decide to do, take care to scrutinize wants vs. needs. The list of the former is endless, while the list of the latter is finite and somewhat small. I would argue that convenience is a want, but that doesn't mean you don't pursue it. Rather, do so with your eyes wide open to the options.

  • KathyInCache North Logan, UT
    May 31, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    Our insurance agent told us that the least expensive way to insure a teenager on a car is to make them drive the family car. The next option would be to insure them on a car that costs less than $3000 and does not appear in the Top-5-cars-stolen-in-the-US-list. Insurance on a teen driver is the most expensive part of having a teen driver. That being said, we are leaning toward buying a car for the use of our 3rd child (we didn't buy one for kids 1 & 2) because he is super involved at school, and has to stay after school so frequently. It would simply be convenient for Mom and Dad.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    May 31, 2014 6:54 a.m.

    Hard topic and one that doesn't have a single answer. I live in a rural area and it was cheaper for me to provide transportation rather than run them everywhere. Our area does not have many teenage jobs so making their own money is nearly impossible.
    I have friends that buy new and things seem to work so as I said no exact answer.