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Handing Down a Car to a Teen? Top Things to Know

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Getting a license is a huge accomplishment, but getting and maintaining another car is almost as much of a trial as the license itself.

For most parents, it can be tough to decide exactly what to do when the time comes to make a choice: hand down your car (and treat yourself to a newer one) or buy something new. There are a lot of questions to ask and a ton of research to be done. You don’t exactly want to watch your kid possibly mistreat a new, expensive car (while depriving yourself of one! You do deserve something new...) but you also probably don’t want to send your child off in an older car that might be harder to drive or more likely to require maintenance. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you're handing down a car.

Consider the Size of the Car

One thing to consider is the size of your possible hand-me-down car. You might love your SUV, especially if you’re in charge of carpool, but ideally, a new driver won’t be carting a bunch of their friends from place to place. Maybe your new driver has a lot of sports equipment or needs size for their own purposes, but maybe they could do with a newer car that’s a bit smaller. There’s no need to sacrifice your comfortable space.


Think About Safety Features

Safety features are incredibly important for young drivers. Is everything updated? This car might be familiar to you and its features may work for someone of your experience level, but a new driver doesn’t have the same history. Keep in mind that your safety features should be as modern as possible (or at least as constantly checked and maintained) in order to fit the expertise of an amateur driver.


Research Insurance Rates

Consider costs. Not only the cost of a new car (for you or your kid) but also the cost of insurance. You don’t want to empty your pockets even further (insuring a teenager isn’t cheap, especially because accidents do happen) on a new car and a costly insurance bill. Make sure to look at rates and do your research on the cost effectiveness of insurance.


Calculate Your Mileage

How much will you use a new car versus your child? If your daily commute is more considerable or you’re the designated driver for family road trips, it’s probably best to think of what kind of car suits your needs, especially if you’re the one mostly on the road. If you’re going to be ticking on the mileage with each passing day, it might be best to start anew.


Look at the Vehicle's Technology

Technology is also a factor. You might need certain features for communication or maybe because you simply prefer them. A new driver may also need those things for safety as well as convenience. How dependent are you on tech of your vehicle?


Find a Happy Medium

And of course, be cognizant of everyone’s wants and happiness. No, that doesn’t mean splurging on a luxury car for everyone. Compromise and plan together in order to find the best possible car for everyone. If you do plan on handing down a car and buying a new one for yourself, don't forget to check out Aceable's Car Buying Service through TrueCar. As an Aceable parent, you'll get even better discounts on new and used vehicles!

Krista Doyle