Thursday, March 3, 2011

Reader Poll: Your Kid's First Car

So I'm gathering your opinions for a future money-themed post on teens and cars.  I'd love to hear your thoughts!  I've already gotten some great responses from twitter pals.  A lot of your answers are "Yes, but..." or "No, but..."  And "I don't know" is a valid answer as well.  So feel free to elaborate and give any "stipulations" you have regarding your kid's first car.  Even if you don't have kids but plan on it someday, what are your thoughts?  There's no right or wrong answer here, but it's something we all need to prepare for...
 
Do you plan to buy your kid's first car?

12 comments:

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I'd like to be in that position. Or maybe to give her/him my old car. It's not that I don't believe in kids working. I made a mint babysittng as a teen. But I also think school should be the priority. If possible, I would love to be able to help my child get a car and ease some of the carpool about town burden. She/he can pay for gas and insurance though. That seems fair to me.

Erica said...

I'd like to be able to provide a car (that I own) for them and their younger siblings to drive during high school and college. It would be safe and practical, nothing fast, cute, or sexy.

If they respect the car and the laws: keeping it clean, doing regular maintenance, no tickets, etc., upon graduation from college, I'd be willing to help them with the purchase of their own car, provided that I'm in a position to do so.

kLl said...

This will definitely be an issue when M and I have kids. We were raised very differently. I bought my first car at the age of 17 after working for a year and saving every penny. It cost me $3,400 and was a 1990 civic. I drove it for five year until I saved up and bought my mazda 6 at the age of 22 (just paid it off in Dec!!). M's dad bought him a Jeep wrangler, lifted it, and put a stereo in it then surprised him with it one day after football practice. They later traded it in for an accord that he totaled then a tacoma he had until sometime in college. I have to say the way our parents treated us has made a huge difference in our spending habits. We are night and day. I want me child to at least pay half or only buy them something that is $5,000 and make them pay insurance or something.

A whole other issue is that M is a teacher and I'm getting my master's to be a teacher. We will not be rich during our lives and I will not squonder money.

Renee said...

I love how DR matched his kids savings for a car. I have no idea what we will do but I would like to think we will do something similar.

Susannah said...

I have to agree with PPC above-I think school is a priority, mom and dad deserve the new cars, you get the privilege of driving the older car. It's not a right. Plus, no teen needs a brand new car!

Lisa said...

If we are able to do so, yes my husband and I would love to provide a car for our child(ren). My siblings and I were fortunate enough to have our parents provide us with cars when we were 16. My husband's parents did the same although I did not like the way they handled it. My parents had a few {very strict} rules that led to the car purchases that I would also implement - I love the way my parents handled it.

First of all, you only got a car if you had a 4.0 GPA in school. You only had to get it once, but then you had to maintain at least a 3.8 or else no car. That was their way of placing an emphasis on school so that our grades didn't suffer because we were working to pay for a car.

Second, we had to wash (and wax!!) the car often, never miss an oil change and take care of routine maintenance. The idea being, that this car needed to last as long as possible (as in, get me through college and to a paying job!).

Third, we had to keep a good driving record. Any tickets or subsequent increases in insurance - we had to pay for. My parents paid for gas as long as they always knew where I was going and using the gas for.

Finally, I was surprised and extremely fortunate at college graduation when I got another car. But, this was only because my previous car was in such great condition that when we traded it in we got double what we expected. And, I worked hard during college, and had a 100% tuition scholarship as well as other scholarships to pay for housing, food, etc. So since my college education didn't cost my parents anything, they used part of the money they had saved for my college education to pay for a new car, and part of it to go into a savings account that I can't touch for a while.

Overall, I know that I was very fortunate. My parents worked hard and wanted to give me the best possible start towards a successful life. I worked very hard and this was their way of rewarding me, and along the way learned a lot about responsible driving and car maintenance as well. I am still very appreciative and make it known often. If I am one day in the same position they were, I hope to be able to provide the same lessons and rewards to my own children.

Preppy 101 said...

Well, I've already been down this road, so I'll throw in my opinion here. Yes, I did. I bought a car for each of my children. Actually, I paid for everything until they graduated from college and had their first job, which both had immediately after graduation. xoxo

Gracie Beth said...

I will be buying my kids a USED car and will tell them the same thing my parents told me that I only got ONE car and guess what it worked.

Aaron said...

We will match for ONE quality used car...hopefully it doesn't cost more than mine!

Hurley Lucy said...

We (obviously) don't have kids but I really appreciated how my parents handled my bro & I. My bro worked at target and saved up about 1,000 and my parents put in some too. He got a simple fun, used car. I opted for my old granddaddy's 1982 park ave. buick. I paid him $50 for it. lol. I was the white girl with the whoop-dee!sp?. We both paid my Mom every month car ins. too. When i graduated and my parents realized my gpa was descent and i was going to college i gave them my "Marshall dept."/p/t job saving $ and we bought a little better vehicle for me to commute to college with. I personally, would not have my kids work AS much as we did and enjoy HS a little more. But earning it=pride. Which you carry with things you take care of. That I was grateful for. :)

Mom on the Run said...

Like Preppy 101, I've been down this road, too--we have 4 kids and bought all of them cars and pay for insurance and gas, too. They all got the car they wanted in the context of the reality of a $10-12K budget which we paid for in cash (and usually to a private seller to avoid paying sales tax). When J1 graduated from GT we gave her the title and told her she could do whatever she wanted with it...drive it, trade it in and get something new, whatever and she is still driving it (2001 VW Jetta) two years later and pays insurance, etc. as she lives in Houston and has a good job. J2 is still in college and co-oped at Georgia Power, saved a bunch of money and sold her 2000 VW Bug and used it and the proceeds to get a nicer car, a 2004 Honda CR-V, but we still pay the insurance. J3 got a Jeep Wrangler when he was 16, sold it 2 years later for $1200 more than we paid for it and bought an Acura for $12k that gets much better gas mileage. J4 opted to drive my car, a 2001 BMW 330i and I got a new (to me) car. The girls were full IB students and athletes and never had time for jobs in HS, J3 played three sports and travel teams, so he never had time for a job either. We have no mortgage and pay for our cars with cash. We had very different ideas about what we were going to do when the time came for cars, but bottom line was they didn't have time nor opportunity to make the kind of money they would need to buy a car, we had lots of kids and needed drivers and cars and we had the savings to pay for it.

Bella Michelle said...

We bought our daughter's 1st car for her when she was 15. It was not a new car but it was adorable ragtop in great shape. We insisted that we be able to purchase a car completely (NO payments for it) so that we only had to place liablity insurance on it...thus if she wrecked her car she was out of a car. end of story. Fortunately, that didn't happen.


When she graduated from HS we bought her a 2nd car, which was used but still very new. Her convertible is adorbable (and is parked here at our house while she is at college) but its age made us not feel it was reliable enough for her to travel back and forth to school and we wanted her to have a car that got good gase mileage and would last her well until after she graduated college so (hopefully) she won't rush out and get into debt right away. Sometimes I marvel at this child that is 19 and owns 2 cars, but what do you do?

She is not resposible for any costs associated with her cars (other than the one time she dented a fender and had to pay for that!!!) as she is a full time student with no job.

Now, we get to think about child #2 who is 14. He is itching for my car...but I don't know yet what we will do for him because I like MY car! Either way, we don't choose to have a "payment" for a teen agers car to be sure.