Welcome to the wonderful world of being a parent whose child can drive!
Is now the right time to add another car at your house? Here are some things to think about as you navigate that decision and help your teen manage the responsibilities that go with it.
Step 1. Weigh the pros and cons of buying another car.
Is your child mature enough to have regular use of a car? Have they shown they’re responsible and conscientious enough to have a car at their disposable? Or, do you think this will help make them more responsible and conscientious? It can be hard to answer that question ahead of time, but here’s the beautiful thing: you can always take the car away (the ultimate bargaining chip!)
Will having another car help your family? Do you live in a place without public transportation or good carpooling options? Are your kids in a lot of activities? Do you have other children who need rides? Do you and your spouse work full time? If the answer is “yes” to any or most of these questions, another car might be a big help.
Can you afford another car? Cars are expensive. And the car payment is just the start. Don’t forget insurance (which, of course, is higher for teens), maintenance and gas.
Check out our Car Buying Budget worksheet on Summit’s Money Smarts page. Tempted to get a “beater?” It could end up costing you—think repairs and maintenance—plus, do you want your kids driving an unreliable car?
Should your kids help out? For some families, another car will only happen if the teen pitches in financially. But what if you can afford to give your kids a car, gas money and insurance? Should you? Kids benefit from responsibility, even if it’s washing the car twice a month or picking up their sister from piano lessons.
Step 3. Let Summit help you find the car and loan that are right for your family.
Ready to buy? First, get pre-approved (just go to SummitCreditUnion.com and fill out our fast, easy online application). Then, investigate your vehicle options. The Summit Concierge service is like having a personal assistant to help you find a car and a loan. Or use Summit’s online tools to research vehicles, rebates and loan deals.
You—and your child!—are about to own the road. And Summit is here to help!
Not a Red SHOES member?
Gain control and be confident in your financial decisions with this exclusive financial wellness program.
Learn more and register today!