Toot Their Horn: Help A Teen Prepare To Buy Their First Car

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Most teenagers dream of being behind the wheel of a car before they even learn how to drive. Once your teen earns their driver's license, it can be hard for them to be content to borrow your car or ride with friends. If your teenager is prepared to do what it takes to get their first car, here are some ways that you can help them prepare for this awesome responsibility and privilege.

Encourage Savings

Teenagers need to learn that having a car is a big responsibility on every level, including a financial one. If you are willing to put up the rest of the money once a teenager has saved a certain amount, let them know. Otherwise, you may want to encourage the teen to save up the full price of the car or talk to a local dealership about which guaranteed approvals may be available with a certain amount for the down payment. Check out a site like for more information on guaranteed approvals.

Establish Rules from the Start

Be sure to let your teenager know that they are expected to follow certain rules that you establish beyond local driving laws. For example, you may not allow your teenager to drive if they've had even a sip of alcohol, and you may have strict laws for what will happen if your teen is caught texting and driving. Make sure your teenager knows which rules are in place before they invest in a car of their own.

Discuss Financing Options

If your teenager is eighteen years of age or older, they may consider getting financing on their own. Alternatively, if you trust your teen enough to co-sign for an auto financing loan, you may offer to co-sign for certain cars. Talk to your teenager about how many years the loan would be for and what you expect of them throughout the period of the loan. Sometimes financing can be the best investment if it allows your teen to establish excellent credit early in life.

Finally, keep in mind that owning a car is not a necessity for any teenager, but it is within reach of any teen who truly wants it. Buying a car can be a great joy for any young person, and it can also be a great convenience for your family to have an extra mode of transportation around. Auto financing is available to help your teen get their first car and enjoy the taste of freedom that comes from being on the road.