How to Help Your Child Buy a Car

Having your kids come of age to buy their own car is one of those parental rites of passage that only happens once. And when it does come, you'll want to make the most of it. 

So what wisdom should you impart to your not-so-young kids when they begin car shopping?

Remember safety, reliability, dependability and affordability are four key factors when choosing a car to purchase. For more on this, review our earlier post on buying your first car.

Now that's covered, let's move on to a few less obvious pearls of wisdom. 

The true cost of car ownership

In addition to a car payment, they'll need to think about other expenses that come with car ownership. Some of these include insurance, taxes, maintenance and gas. Help them shop rates and run a calculator on estimated taxes and annual upkeep costs. To get you started, check out this article from Consumer Reports on Auto Insurance Myths and Hidden Truths.

How to negotiate a good deal

Another lesson to give is on how to get a good deal on the car. Credit scores, down payments and trade-ins can certainly help you negotiate a good deal. You'll also want to teach them how to work the dealership with these techniques from Lifehacker.

Once it's off the lot

You'll want to show them how to get the most out of the car after it's purchased. One thing is how to take care of it. For help, check out this article on saving money on car care. Lastly, be happy for them and tell them to enjoy it. Owning a car is a privilege and opens up new places to explore.