How to choose the best car for your teenager

How to choose the best car for your teenager

So, the time has come for your teenager to sit behind the wheel of their first car. They have their driver’s licence and are ready and raring to go. However, you are not sure where to start when it comes to the huge variety of cars for sale in your area.

In order to keep everyone happy, you will need to compromise on what car your teenager is able to get. They might want to drive around in a red convertible sports car but you might only be able to afford a small city car. Below are some top tips on how to choose the best car for your teenager.

Size matters

If your teen is going to be living at home while they are at university or working at their first job, then they will likely not need a large car, such as an SUV or a bakkie. If, however, they have a longer distance to travel then they might need a larger car to make the travelling easier and safer.

A small to medium sized car is perfect for town driving, and will give them the ability to drive their friends around with them or to move items to and from home and university. A sedan might not be ideal for a very new driver, as the back is long and could be difficult to reverse or park with. A hatchback is the perfect solution to town driving and offers a spacious boot for all the odds and ends that teenagers collect.

Manual versus automatic

In South Africa, your child will most likely learn to drive a manual car, as it is the most common type of car for sale in the country. This also means that they will be able to easily use an automatic car, but you will need to ask their preference before deciding on a vehicle.

You will need to ask your teenager what gear type they prefer, as well as consider which one will cost you more. An automatic car might cost you more as they are slightly more rare in South Africa, however, you will need to be sure that the manual car that you choose will not run into problems as the years go on. Manual versus automatic is up to personal preference, so be sure to ask your teen theirs.

Safety is top priority

One of the most important aspects of choosing a car for your child is to ensure that it has all the necessary safety features. This might not sound so exciting to them. But, as a parent, it will bring a sense of peace and relief, knowing that your teen is driving a safe and secure car.

You will need to look out for features such as side curtain airbags, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and ABS. Your teenage driver might not think it is “cool” to have so many safety features, but on roads that are busy and with drivers who are not paying attention, “better safe than sorry” rings true. The car does not have to be electronically advanced with the latest technology, as long as it has up-to-date safety features.

Reliability and maintenance

All cars need routine maintenance to be kept in good running order, but if your teenager’s car seems to be in constant need of maintenance, then some red flags should be popping up. Similarly, if you are choosing a car, you will need to ask the dealership or private seller for a detailed maintenance and service history.

Used cars for sale in Gauteng are equally as reliable as new cars for sale, it all depends on how often and well you maintain them. If you are buying an older vehicle, be sure to have a mechanic look it over in order to find any damages or leaks, and always ask for up-to-date service documents before you make any final decisions. The chances are that your teenager will use their first car for at least five years, so be sure it does not need too much maintenance.

Always look at affordability

It is unlikely that your teenager will be contributing towards the repayments on a vehicle loan, so you will need to look carefully at your affordability before you look at any cars for sale. Go online and use a repayment calculator to ascertain whether or not you can afford the car your teenager likes.

You will need to be sure that you have enough money to afford the car (depending on if it is new or used) and if you are financing the car through a loan, you will need to look at how much extra you can spend per month. Compromise is often needed when buying a car for a teenager, but if you follow these handy tips and tricks, you will soon see them driving off in the perfect safe and secure vehicle.


Authored by: mjones

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