thoughts on teenager's cars?

corndogggy

12 pointer
Jul 20, 2005
6,875
What do you think about cars for 16 year olds? Get them something nice as if it's a birthright? Get them a turd then let them work for something nicer? Let them drive a hand me down until graduation since they'll probably wreck it? Forget about the whole thing and tell them they're on their own? Get them something fun, or something with real high gas mileage?
 

useyourbow

12 pointer
What do they deserve. Good kid, kind to the parents, doing well in school, helps around the house, keeps a clean room? Something nice.

Problem child, rude to parents, borderline school, room looks like a disaster area, only attends family functions to sneak booze. '72 pinto.
 

daking

12 pointer
Dec 29, 2004
2,604
My kids both learned to drive on and started their motoring career in an aged Ford Ranger that had been in the family since 1990. It was old, ugly and carried only one other passenger, so they viewed it as transportation of last resort rather than a status symbol. In college, I bought them old beaters (a 95 T-bird and a 96 Cougar) which they drove into their graduation and to get started in their careers. I always made sure the vehicles were large enough to withstand a crash, drove safely and were reasonably reliable. Cool and pretty never figured into the equation. Now that they're on their own, they one bought a Hyundai Santa Fe and the other is looking at a mid-size Taurus. Like me, if they want a cool car, they can do it after their kids are raised and in lieu of a girlfriend or boyfriend mid-life crisis. Teach 'em early that cars are nothing but transportation and money is better spent elsewhere.
 

huntr467

12 pointer
Feb 2, 2004
2,976
Marion Ky. Crittenden county
I had to work and save up to buy my first one. A 1970 f100. had to put an engine in it. I worked on cars so mostly what I had was beaters. My sister got a Gremlin that my dad painted in the garage. Back then it didn't matter as long as it got you around. Not everybody had cars in high school. I think kids are to spoiled these days with their new sporty cars and trucks the minute they turn 16.
I say buy something safe, dependable and well used. And preferrably with their own money. If they don't have any money make em work till they can afford to help pay for it.
 

Berdarien

6 pointer
Jul 23, 2012
156
Err same as biography
I got a little PoS that my dad made me take apart and put back together before I could drive.. I got it when I was just turning 15 and by the time I turned 16 I had it back together lol.. I mean he really had me take it apart. Clutch was starting to go when I got it and it was FWD car so he said I had to replace it myself. Then he said his buddy would do a little work on the motor if I took the motor out. So took it all apart.. Had it bored .30 over the head was ported and polished. Put in a bit better clutch and then put it all back together.

I mean for a little pos 4 cylinider. It was a Mazda GLC. .The thing was a quick little car.. 2 months after I turned 16 and showed him I took care of stuff he gave me our old yard truck we kept around for the winters. It was a 76 International Scout with a 411 rockcrusher transmission/ Dana 40 rear end. Was a fun vehicle. Then I just switched between the two cars cuz that thing was mean expensive to put gas in. Whereas if I wanted to go out and drive around all night I could do it in the Mazda.

As mad as I was that I had to do so much work on the Mazda before I got it I am 100% sure now it was to teach me about keeping up a vehicle on my own. Don't regret a minute of rebuilding the thing. Not all of the busted knuckles or the reaming from mom for ruining my clothes.

My next 4 or 5 cars were all "fast" hot rods and customs that I was comfortable with because I could work on them. Had I not been taught what to do no way would I have been able to have the line of cars I had.


So imo I think they should earn a car one way or another. Or get a PoS they have to work on.. Not a car that the front suspension is going to break and they crash into a semi..Just something that if they spend a month or two doing little things turns into a nice runner. At 16 it isn't about anything but freedom. 4 cyl beater is the same as a dodge viper.. Well not quite but you get the drift..
 

300winmag

12 pointer
Sep 1, 2009
2,923
Taylorsville
My daughter turns 16 in December so I'm starting to think about this as well. She's a superb student, athlete, hunter, and all around good young lady. She wants a truck so we'll probably be getting her a decent used F150, nothing fancy but not a beater either. She's earned our help and we can afford to help her a little. But she will have to help us and haul her little sister to practice and such when we can't. We'll probably make her pay part of her insurance and gas. I just pray she stay's safe and don't act like I did.
 

corndogggy

12 pointer
Jul 20, 2005
6,875
I'm just in a weird situation and don't know what to do about it. It's a split family situation where she lives with me and my wife. Her mom don't pay for jack crap so I don't want to get something just to have her burn up the road between here and her mom's. Plus with going there every other weekend and a month in the summer, it will be hard to have a traditional job. And I hate to say it but her grades aren't that great and she doesn't exactly work hard at much of anything. For example we had a deal that she could work on the farm and pay off about $850 worth of extra curricular activities, and she literally put 2.5 hours in. With a work ethic like that I really don't want to hand over anything nice. My family expects me to though, as if I would be a horrible person for not handing something over. I mean, I recycled copper and aluminum cans for two years to afford a car, and it affected my work ethic. She really needs to learn the same lesson without being neglected. I'm just not sure where that balance is and how to achieve that.
 

Brit's and Birds

10 pointer
Nov 24, 2008
1,244
Oldham County
I paid for all of my first car by bagging groceries and helping my uncle on his farm. My parents did help me by paying the taxes and first insurance payment. But every insurance, gas tank, repair, registration, oil change, and car wash after that I paid for or did myself. Looking back now I took much better care of that POS corolla than any of my friends whose parents bought them a car did. I had one friend who wrecked two cars inside a month and his parents bought him a third! He just didn't care, it was not his hard work on the line and he knew mommy and daddy would get him another if he messed up. Actually ran into him a year or two ago and he was unemployed and living on the dole. I guess that sense of someone else taking care of him sank in. Not trying to make this political, just saying. Give your kids too much that they did not earn and it may have an effect on the rest of their life.
 

HUNTINGMAN

12 pointer
Nov 7, 2008
2,493
Harrodsburg KY
My oldest son will be 17 this month and he has been hinting about a truck to me. I'm not financially stable enough to go drop a wad on him a truck when I do good to pay for my own sometimes. The way I look at it his mom gets good. Hike support and his stepfather is an enginear for the railroad so I figure they can buy him one easier than I can. I'll help him out with gas money some as long as he appreciates it and doesn't get into any trouble.
 

Brit's and Birds

10 pointer
Nov 24, 2008
1,244
Oldham County
I'm just in a weird situation and don't know what to do about it. It's a split family situation where she lives with me and my wife. Her mom don't pay for jack crap so I don't want to get something just to have her burn up the road between here and her mom's. Plus with going there every other weekend and a month in the summer, it will be hard to have a traditional job. And I hate to say it but her grades aren't that great and she doesn't exactly work hard at much of anything. For example we had a deal that she could work on the farm and pay off about $850 worth of extra curricular activities, and she literally put 2.5 hours in. With a work ethic like that I really don't want to hand over anything nice. My family expects me to though, as if I would be a horrible person for not handing something over. I mean, I recycled copper and aluminum cans for two years to afford a car, and it affected my work ethic. She really needs to learn the same lesson without being neglected. I'm just not sure where that balance is and how to achieve that.

Maybe use the car to try to teach some work ethic. Sounds like the first try at farm work the money had already been paid, which she surely realized. Like every teenager, I am sure she is itching to get a car. Tell her one day, weekend, month, whatever of honest work and you will buy her a car. Describe exactly what she needs to do. Up with the sun and put on old clothes. Cell phone does not leave the house, work till x time for x days, accomplish x tasks, and she gets the car. Maybe even say an additional so many days of work will get a little nicer car. Incentivize hard work and reward it if accomplished. If she agrees and only works a few hours again, get her nothing and explain she did not live up to her end of the bargain and that would not be rewarded. Do not bend on this as it will encourage the same old behavior. She may not like it now, but will thank you later.
 

corndogggy

12 pointer
Jul 20, 2005
6,875
Was thinking about maybe letting her drive my old work car with 242,000 miles on it then saying if she wants something nicer, she can get a job and I will match whatever she can earn.
 

Iceman35

12 pointer
Oct 27, 2008
7,987
Boone County
My family expects me to though, as if I would be a horrible person for not handing something over. .

Who cares? Are they raising her or are you? I paid for my first car, and sounds like she needs to also. If the family has a problem, tell them to either buy a car for her or buzz off.
 

corndogggy

12 pointer
Jul 20, 2005
6,875
I paid for my first car, and sounds like she needs to also.

One of the more successful guys I know (just bought a $600,000 house) just told me his first car was one he bought himself at age 18 then had to rebuild the thing himself. I really don't know any really successful people who just got handed a nice car. The ones that I know of that was handed something nice are basically nothing but housewives. Which, is fine, but it's a far cry from the glamorous life that they tried to portray themselves as having.
 
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philipfleek

12 pointer
Feb 24, 2008
10,310
philville, KY
Just glad to hear she wants a car. My niece 18 and nephew 16 could care less. Neither have jobs, suck in school and do nothing around the house. Good for you and her.
 

Lady Hunter

12 pointer
Jan 12, 2009
5,129
The PLAN was for both of my kids to learn to drive on my old Jeep Cherokee Sport & then match whatever money they'd saved throughout high school to help them buy a car at graduation. It didn't work that way. A little snot-nosed dropout came around a curve on the road on the wrong side & plowed the jeep (and my daugher) head on only 3 days after my daughter got her intermediate license. We ended up taking the insurance settlement plus our daughter's contribution and, more or less, letting her pick out a car. 2009 Chevy Colbalt. Bright red & gaudy as hell. I hate it but she loves it.

Then when it came time for our son to learn to drive (less than 2 years later), we didn't have a beater like the jeep for him to practice in so we pitched in the same amount as the insurance settlement was from the jeep & he pitched in what he'd managed to save & we went on and got him a car. He ended up picking out a 2008 Ford Focus SES after test driving it & discovering the sun roof, SYNC system, leather seats, etc. I hated it when he finally got his license because I had to give it back to him! lol!

Fortunately they're both being fairly responsible. My daughter's gotten one speeding ticket now in 3 years & our son clipped a mailbox (and scared the bejeebers out of himself) but they're taking care of their rides so far. We told 'em if they don't, then they'll just have to walk because we aren't helping them out again. Those cars have to last until they're earning enough money to buy their own on their own!
 


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