8 Rules To Remember When Buying a Car for Your Child

Buying a Car for Your Child

Disclaimer: Elise Ho, aka “Dr. Ho” is a Holistic Health & Life Coach. Dr. Ho is NOT a medical doctor, licensed therapist, lawyer, or a bevy of other things. Products or services that Dr. Ho believes in are the only ones that she recommends. Dr. Ho may receive compensation, product, or an affiliate commission on anything you see on this site. This is a personal Website solely reflecting Dr. Ho’s personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of any organization with which I may be affiliated.

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Buying your first car is an exciting milestone that every young adult experiences, but before you sign the paperwork for a shiny new set of wheels, do your homework. The vehicle you choose will play a significant role in your child’s future. While buying cars can be exciting and fun, it is important that you shop smart. 


Here are 8 rules to remember when buying your child a car:


1. Don’t rush into it


Keeping this purchase separate from other times can save time and money in the slightly longer run; slightly used cars are often the best choice for first-time owners transitioning from their parents’ old hand-me-downs.


2. Consider your desired outcome


What is the main reason for buying this car? To replace one that has broken down beyond repair, or to simply give your child a new set of wheels? If it is to replace an older, high-mileage vehicle, consider buying slightly used instead of new. This way you will save money and still have a reliable car. Remember the old adage, “buy cheap, buy twice.”

3. Shop around but not too much


Be sure to do some research on the different makes and models of vehicles. Don’t skimp on quality because it is last year’s or make/model; if your child is in the car for a while, you want them to be comfortable. Visit Edmunds for a great selection of new and used cars.

4. Be involved in the process


Once you agree on a price and terms, be sure to get all of your questions answered before signing the contract. Ask about warranties, what is covered, and how long will coverage last. Be sure to read all documentation before signing; this is not the time for hasty decisions or rushed paperwork.


5. Keep insurance costs in mind


You will probably be required to show proof of insurance on the vehicle you are buying, so do some research about what insurance will cost beforehand. A good rule of thumb is to try and keep your total insurance costs at or below 1/12 of your child’s yearly salary.


6. Test drive


Make sure your child takes a test drive before signing on the dotted line. This will ensure he/she likes the car and fit before you buy. While it may be hard to take those first steps as “parent-in-charge” of a car, make them carefully and with confidence knowing that you have done your homework and made a sound purchase.


7. Safety first


When getting a car, consider its safety features, because as any car and motorcycle accident lawyer will tell you, kids are particularly vulnerable o the road. Anti-lock brakes and airbags will save you money in the long run, as they protect your child from damage. Safety comes first when buying a car for your children.


8. Obey all traffic laws


While this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s an important rule to keep your child safe from traffic violations and accidents resulting from reckless driving. Obeying the law will keep your child, you, and other motorists safe.

There you have it!


Remember, buying a car should be an exciting experience. With just a few simple steps, you will have purchased the perfect first set of wheels for your child!

Please use the comment section below to share your tips, questions, and/or thoughts about this post.

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Naturally Yours,
Elise Ho
Ph.D., D.N. Psych.
Behavioral & Mental Health Specialist

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38 thoughts on “8 Rules To Remember When Buying a Car for Your Child”

  1. I like the motto “buy cheap, buy twice”. It’s great to keep in mind – especially when you are buying for someone who’s just getting used to having a vehicle of their own.

  2. We are getting to the years where our kids are going to learn how to drive soon. I don’t know how we will afford another car, but it is something to think about, especially all the points you mentioned.

  3. Being involved in the process makes the entire journey so much better. Be it inspecting the car itself or learning bits and parts of it, it’s so good an experience! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Insurance costs were a huge factor when we looked at cars for our oldest. New drivers always pay so much on insurance.

  5. Heather Klein Wolf

    perfect timing for this post, dr. ho! my son just turned 16 and got his license last week. thanks for the tips.

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in emotional health, life alignment, and energy flow.

Elise will partner with you to align your mindset, your energy, your home and your career so that you can live your life's desire with freedom and love.

Elise offers 30 years of experience and multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.