What is a reasonable car for a 16 year old?

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by ~Jessie~, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    19,665
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    5 Dogs
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Home Page:
    While researching cars a couple of weeks ago, I came across an article on MSN money (I think) about first car choices.

    One of the suggestions was a Ford Expedition :yikes:

    I couldn't imagine going out, purchasing this, and putting my 16 year old in it. They're huge, the gas mileage is terrible, they flip more easily than cars, and it's just so unnecessary for the typical 16 year old.

    My first car was a few years used Honda Civic. I averaged 30 miles to the gallon, it was big enough to drive a few people in it, and a safe car.

    I think a reasonable, good car for a 16 year old is something somewhat small, safe, gets good gas mileage (as a teen with a part time job, spending $80 at the gas station would be really painful!), reliable, etc.

    Also, I wouldn't spend an enormous amount of money on my kid's first car- my exboyfriend's sister was given a new Audi A4 and then a BMX X3 once she crashed the A4. Besides the high cost of insuring an expensive car for a teen, I just find it unnecessary to give your child what could possibly be their nicest car they ever own at the age of 16. Plus, 16 year olds don't have much driving experience so I'd worry about them ruining an expensive car!

    Thoughts?
     
  2. -bogart-

    -bogart- Member of WHODAT Nation.

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    3,192
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    South East Louisiana
    The kids first car will be whatever they save for . so a heap with alright gas millage is it! lol

    Cyle's first car was a 1995 olds somthing or another he paid 1000.00 bucks for.

    it left him on the side of the road 6 months later. leason learned was have your car checked out by a mechanic before you buy. after much wailing and nashing of the teeth (and he got a good job) his father cosigned for him a new car , well he got fired and now "I" am taking the car from him.

    I firmly believe that kids need to earn there own money and buy there own things as a teen/young adult. How else will they value anything? So i guess this ramble is basically a
    I dont think ANY car should be bought by the parents for the kids. I think the kids should buy there own cars.
     
  3. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    15,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    A lot of parents want their children driving SUVs, not cars, and I sort of understand why. The Ford Expedition has downsides, definitely (like gas cost), but it's also a safe and reliable SUV. I'd feel much safer if my kid was crashing a Ford Expedition than a Honda Civic.

    My first car was a (really old) Mustang GT. My parents didn't spend a lot of money on it. I got into one accident in it, and it held up really well. I felt safe in that car, and would have felt a lot safer if the brakes weren't iffy and the transmission wasn't going.

    Then when it needed it's tires replaced and other work, and got costly, we got in on Cash for Clunkers and got a pontiac G3 hatchback for me and my brother and mom to all share. It's great on gas, but I HATED it, and after my mom spent some time driving it she decided it's not safe enough for my brother.
     
  4. MandyPug

    MandyPug Sport Model Pug

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,332
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    1
    Location:
    Southern Alberta
    My first car was the classic sunfire, $3000 and not too bad on gas. My current car however is a 2007 Nissan Versa and I'm in love with i, my aunt bought it for me for around $7300. Costs me $40 to fill up and that lasts me about 2-3 weeks depending on where I have to go. I felt safe in the sunfire until it had 275,000 kms on it and made funny noises sometimes. My Nissan? I feel totally safe. We have super strong winds here so those tippy SUVs often end up in the ditch, a smaller and sleeker car does a lot better. Though the smaller cars sometimes have issues getting stuck in the snow (though my mum's SUV does too).
     
  5. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    19,665
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    5 Dogs
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Home Page:
    I'd be more worried about them injuring others in such a large SUV, though. Not to mention, I'd worry about my kid flipping it over. One of my best friends died due to slamming on the brakes and having his Explorer flip on the highway into another lane.

    There are so many smaller and safer SUVs, though. The Expedition is massive! Why not get your kid a CRV or an Escape if you want them in an SUV?

    My parents bought cars for both me and my sister, and we are both VERY appreciative. I didn't have to worry about making car payments or breaking down on the side of the road. I'll be doing the same thing with my children- buying them something safe and reliable but a few years used.

    It's definitely not something that a parent needs to buy their child, but it definitely is a huge help when they don't have to worry about purchasing their own car until after college. I drove my first car from the time I was 16 until I was 22 and out of college.
     
  6. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Messages:
    19,779
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    8 dogs and 6 horses.
    Location:
    Ontario
    Home Page:
    My first car was a 1981 diesel station wagon (back in 1992) It was so uncool it was cool. My friends dubbed it the coolmobile. My dad had picked it up cheap for him as a beater car (though it was in mint condition) and then got a job where they gave him a car so it became mine. It was awesome!

    If I can afford it I will buy Darien a car, not at 16 but when he has his full licence and if he proves responsible. He will be expected to contribute to upkeep and pay for gas and such.
     
  7. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    4,925
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs, 1 cat
    Location:
    NC
    Home Page:
    My first car was a 1988 Honda Civic - it was a hand me down from my mom in 2000. It was totaled in 2001 by a hit and run driver and I walked away with no injuries whatsoever.

    I had a little bit of money from my grandma at that point, so my parents and I went halvsies on my current vehicle, a 1999 Subaru Impreza, with the understanding that when I sell or scrap it they get their 49% of the car proceeds back. I'll be buying a new or almost new Toyota 4Runner myself in about a year, so the Impreza will have lasted me over 10 years.

    I'm of the mindset that kids don't need fancy, giant, or brand new cars. DH and I will be doing the hand-me-down thing for any kids we have because we'd prefer that they spend their time on school rather than working to pay for a car. They'll get a gas allowance and we'll pay their insurance while they are in school, but if they want a newer vehicle, want to drive more than the gas allowance allows for, or decide not to go to college, then they will assume the additional costs themselves.
     
  8. nikkiluvsu15

    nikkiluvsu15 Wild At Heart

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    North Florida
    My mom has an Expedition, which is what I learned to drive in (along with an F-250) and I absolutely LOVE driving it.

    However, my car is a 1997 Ford Escort and I think it is a great first car... especially since I have to commute to college every day. Though it does get a bit small when I have to lug around Harleigh's stuff all the time :p
     
  9. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    19,665
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    5 Dogs
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Home Page:
    That is pretty awesome! I think it was Ian's mom who put shag carpeting into her first car.

    One of my friends in high school had one of those huge old vans with the curtains and carpet. It was so awesome and spacious. People would beg him to let them nap in it during school. Haha.

    My parents expected me to pay for gas and I paid for part of my insurance until I went to college. They paid for the car and took care of all the maintenance.
     
  10. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,798
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    My first car was a 1995 dodge neon that I saved up for myself. Small, cheap easy to drive and reliable. Even though I was used to driving larger vehicles (F350, suburbans, etc), I would have never wanted to drive those on a daily basis. Too much money, too big and just a PITA for a kid to be driving.
     
  11. eddieq

    eddieq Silence! I ban you! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    8,823
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    PA
    My first car was a 1979 Toyota Celica GT. I bought it for $1000 in 1987. Didn't get great gas mileage (especially being a "sporty" car with a 5 speed and a 16 year old with cement blocks on his feet ;) ). The car was a two door with a small back seat and a lift-back (hatch back). I drove all of my friends around everywhere. Always had at least one, and often 3 or 4 friends shoehorned in there. I got 9 in once (including me as the driver), but 3 were laying in the back under the lift back, 3 shoehorned in the back seat and two sharing the passenger seat.

    What's my point? If I had a massive vehicle like an expedition or a full size van/wagon, I'd have overfilled that even more. Kids are dumb, no matter their gender, upbringing or education - especially testosterone poisoned young men, but ladies as well. An expedition is a terrible car for a new driver.

    Based on what's out there, I'd say a good first car would be your Civics, Corollas, Cavaliers, Neons (or other late 90's Dodge "cloud cars"), Elantras, etc. Smallish cars with decent safety ratings and good fuel economy. I'd steer clear of SUVs, Subarus (only for the above mentioned "abuse" thing), vans and such. I'd also steer away from the top end type vehicles (BMW, Lexus, etc.). The insurance costs are killer.

    Take a stroll around your local pick and pull salvage yard and look for the cars with front end damage and take a look at the passenger compartment. How did it survive the crash? Insurance industry safety ratings are one thing, but seeing real-world results does wonders for your purchase decision.
     
  12. skittledoo

    skittledoo Crazy naked dog lady

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Messages:
    13,667
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Dog Trainer CPDT-KA
    Location:
    Fredericksburg
    My first car was an 89 Nissan Maxima that my parents paid $1500 for. I was expected to pay gas and upkeep and they paid the insurance.

    My current car at 25 years old is an 06 Ford Escape and I love it. Roomy enough to travel with the dogs which is what I wanted.

    Josh and I haven't talked about what we would do regarding a car for our future kids. We might either hand down a car or buy an older car. I don't mind paying insurance and giving a gas allowance, but the gas allowance will be enough for commute to and from school only. Anything extra my kids will have to pay for extra. If they want to drive around to places with friends then they can get a job to pay the extra gas.

    One of my sisters got a 90 something Honda Prelude for her first car in high school. She is 23 years old now and still driving the same car.

    Another sister got a Ford Explorer I believe for her first. She sold it to a friend when she moved out of state for college and currently doesn't have a car since freshman aren't allowed to drive on college campus apparently.
     
  13. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    94,266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    3, Bimmer, GSDX (m); Kharma, Fila Brasileiro (f);
    Location:
    Where the selas blooms
    Home Page:
    Whatever the 16 year old can afford ;) I would probably help, but only after the kid showed me they had it together enough to buy, insure and gas up their own car.

    Mine? An OLD '78 Cutlass Supreme SX with a 455 high compression engine, 4 barrel, positrack rear and turbo transmission. :D Yes, I bought it and paid for everything myself when I was 18 and living on my own and working at Wallyworld.
     
  14. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    19,665
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    5 Dogs
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Home Page:
    This is pretty much how I feel. I'd rather give my kid something that I feel safe with them in, and they can spend their time on school rather than try to save up for a car. I definitely know the value of a dollar and I didn't have to buy my own car- I appreciated having my first car given to me. It gave me 6 years of not having to worry about car costs.

    I definitely agree with the cars that Eddie listed.

    Insurance costs are high enough for 16 year olds anyway with econo cars- I think my mom pays $250 for my sister's Civic every month :yikes:
     
  15. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    94,266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    3, Bimmer, GSDX (m); Kharma, Fila Brasileiro (f);
    Location:
    Where the selas blooms
    Home Page:
    Frankly, I'm not sure a 16 year old NEEDS a car. Sure, some do, and for some parents it's going to make their lives easier, but it's not a basic life necessity and the world isn't going to end (even though they're going to tell you it is) because a 16 year old doesn't have their very own car. Remember, that area of the brain that governs inhibiting spontaneous behavior is still in developmental stages.
     
  16. Red.Apricot

    Red.Apricot Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Southern California
    My dad did go out and buy me a truck when I was 14 and a half. He was really excited about me learning to drive. He then sold the truck (for a profit--go dad) when I was 15, because I couldn't see over the steering wheel, due to my back being short.

    My real first car was my grandpa's 1990 Accord. I love that car. <3 My sister drives it now.

    Had my parents waited for me to be able to purchase a car, I would have been 19 or 20 when I learned to drive. I don't think they wanted to drive me around that long.
     
  17. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Just Miss Lucy-fur, my wondermutt!
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    I bought my first car my junior year of college to commute to a summer internship. It was a 2000 mitsubishi eclipse--and I still drive it today! I paid $6000 for it, and it's lasted me 5 years so far and still only has 90k miles on it--not bad :)

    In high school, my parents would let me drive one of the family cars when necessary, but I didn't really have much of a need to drive anywhere. I only lived 2 miles from school, so my sister and I walked, soccer practice was after school on the high school campus, and my parents went to church and volunteering with us so they drove.
     
  18. eddieq

    eddieq Silence! I ban you! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    8,823
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    PA
    That must be regional. I called my insurance company to check on adding my 16 year old once she has her license. They said to put her as the primary on my Neon (my beater I drive to work) as it would be cheapest. The additional cost was 50 bucks a month.
     
  19. MandyPug

    MandyPug Sport Model Pug

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,332
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    1
    Location:
    Southern Alberta
    At 16 it WAS a necessity for me to have a car. I lived on the opposite side of town to my school and work and pretty much everything and the bus system is garbage here (not to mention dangerous with the "wildlife"). My mum works an important job where she couldn't be carting me around from school to soccer to work to whatever whenever needed and she was often travelling too.
     
  20. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    15,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Oh, I totally agree an Expedition is a ridiculous car for a 16 year old. But I can definitely understand parents wanting their kid in an SUV instead of a small sedan.

    I would buy my kid their first car...provided they have a good reason for their own car (a steady job that I can't reliably drive them to, or needing to drive to school), get good grades, and are responsible and I feel they will be a safe driver. I do think kids need to work hard for what they have, but if part of that is working hard in school and being a responsible family member and contributing to society, I don't mind rewarding it. Besides, in a lot of places (like where I grew up) it's pretty hard for a high schooler to get a job and get to it with working parents, and near impossible to get to college without a car or a reliable ride every day.
     

Share This Page