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Tips for Buying Your Teen’s First Car

The day your child walks out of the DMV with their brand new driver’s license in hand can make any parent anxious. Not only does this give that child a bit more freedom, it also means answering the question: what car will they drive?

Whether you decide to put your teenager in a new or used car, we have resources for our members that will help you throughout the car buying process. All Point Breeze Credit Union members have access to AutoSMART, a free online auto buying resource for our members. And of course, we offer competitive auto loan rates as low as 1.74% APR1 as well as auto insurance options with special discounts just for being a Point Breeze Credit Union member.

We’ve also put together some advice to help your family in purchasing that first car for your teen driver. Here are a few ways to make buying that car a little easier on your wallet and your mind.

Involve your teen

Before you begin the car buying process, have a discussion with your teen about the responsibilities that come with having their own car. Lay out the expenses involved including auto insurance, gas, maintenance costs and monthly car payments. Then determine a budget that your teen will be in charge of contributing to. Some drivers may be able to take on the car insurance payments while others will pay for their own gas. When your teen contributes, it makes them feel they have a stake in maintaining and protecting the vehicle.

Determine a budget

Whether you’re purchasing the vehicle or your teen has been saving up to buy it on his/her own, it’s important to set a budget before car shopping. Setting a budget will also help you determine whether you can afford to buy a new or used vehicle. Many parents opt for the used car when buying their teen’s first car, which can save a good chunk of change. Consider doing a background check on the car through a service like Carfax or AutoCheck and having a mechanic inspect the vehicle before purchasing.

Do your homework

Research can be time-consuming, but remember that doing your homework will help keep your child safe and save you money. When searching for safe cars, here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind:
  • Crash test results
  • User reviews
  • Size (larger cars tend to provide more protection)
  • Safety features
  • Technology features
Great online resources are AutoSMART and Consumer Reports Online. Websites like these will help you make educated choices throughout the car buying process.

Look for new driver-friendly features

Cars are a lot different since many of us have gotten behind the wheel of our first vehicle. Advanced technology and safety features have been added for more protection on the road. For example, cars with features like Hyundai Blue Link can be programmed to alert the car’s owner when the vehicle drives beyond certain boundaries or after specified hours.

There are also a number of smartphone applications you can download to protect your teen driver, like Safe Driver. It monitors location and driving practices of your new driver and can send you a notification when a specified speed has been exceeded. The Android app, Live2Txt, will block incoming calls and texts with just the click of a button, and sends an automatic reply to anyone who tries to reach you.

For help buying your teen’s first vehicle, contact our lending specialists at 888.233.7228. We’d love to help!

1APR=Annual Percentage Rate. Rates are subject to change and are based on individual credit history. Visit for current rates. Must qualify for special rate. Terms are available up to 72 months on qualifying loans. For every $1,000 borrowed at 1.74% APR for 36 months, you would pay $28.54 monthly. Excludes current Point Breeze loans.