If your child isn’t a child anymore after all, and they’ll soon be 16 years old, you’re likely wondering what you should get them to celebrate this momentous birthday. Though it may be cliche, buying your teen a new or used car for their birthday can be a great way to teach them about responsibility, independence, and to get them out of your hair every once in a while.
Of course, something as large as a car comes with a few concerns, so you should always prepare your teen with everything they need to stay safe and to have fun. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that you present this gift in a way that they’ll always remember. If you’re thinking of gifting your teen a car for their birthday, here are some things to look out for.
If you flippantly pass on an old family car to your teen, they may not feel the true power and responsibility of having their own car. Not that it’s a science-backed way to reduce the chance of a teenage car accident, but if you present the vehicle in a special way, your teen may feel keener to keep their car safe, clean, and free of issues.
Consider making a special, customized photo happy birthday card as a cherry on top of the gift. Shutterfly has plenty of birthday card designs, including birthday cards for her and for him. Write a special note and tape the key inside the birthday card for a gift they will never forget. If you’re trying to reduce waste, or your teen is way into tech, consider sending an ecard they can click on their phone or personal computer. Naturally, you might want to consider some theatrics for the reveal of the car itself as well.
The number one thing you’ll want to ensure—not counting the physical safety of your child—is that you have peace of mind as you pass over the keys on their special day. Have an open, honest discussion with your teen about ground rules you’d like to set for the car.
Maybe that’s instilling a household curfew in addition to your state’s curfew, setting a limit on the number of friends they can have in their car, or setting a limit on the distance they can drive. Any rules you can set that will limit property damage, bodily injury, and reckless behavior are good rules to have.
Before you buy your teen a car, make sure you start comparing insurance policies. Not doing adequate research on an auto insurance policy means you could be missing out on more comprehensive coverage, lower premiums, or deductibles elsewhere. That’s why it’s so important to always compare car insurance across all the big insurance companies like Allstate, Liberty Mutual, and State Farm Auto Insurance.
Having a good car insurance policy can be the difference between skyrocketing premiums with an impure driving record and accident forgiveness for those who have just one collision. Make sure to get an auto insurance quote from a few sources to find the best deal.
While celebrating a milestone like a birthday should be fun, it’s also important to make sure that the car you give your teen is safe in all ways. That means checking to make sure the car has the best safety features, like an anti-lock braking system, airbags, and power windows. You’ll also want to invest in a car that has a clean record and few miles to ensure durability.
Choosing the right car can feel like just as big of a responsibility as driving it, but if you keep these things in mind, you’ll give your teen a birthday they’ll never forget.