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Car for a Kid

MoonKnightMoonKnight 377 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
Parents, at what age did you buy your kid a car? What type of car did you buy them? What were some of the things you took into consideration when buying a car for your son or daughter?
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Replies to: Car for a Kid

  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie 2226 replies0 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I bought a base Civic when my son started driving. Needed it to get to school. His first 2 years of college he did not need a car so my daughter drove the Civic her last 2 years of high school. She didn't need one for her first year of college so son had the Civic his last two years of college. Worked out well in terms of one car between them. Other than a couple times during summer when both had jobs.

    Daughter needed car her sophomore year of college for internship. Bought a Subaru Impreza. Didn't get base model because I wanted to add some safety features. Would have done that for Civic but at time they were not available.

    Just transferred title to son to the Civic. I told him I would run it into the ground now that he has a real/potentially permanent job. But its up to him.

    I wanted a vehicle that was safe. Not an SUV fan so we were not going there. Thought about used cars but to get same safety features (such as ABS) would have needed to get recent models which were not much less expensive. Plus had full warranty.
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  • dentmom4dentmom4 1355 replies4 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Well, we bought a third car for our child to use. Fully understood it was the parents’ car. We bought a sedan for S1 when he was 16 and had obtained a license. We bought a safe car with about 80K miles on it. He took that car to college. Then we bought a used Malibu for him to use.

    D1 had the use of my minivan when she turned 16 and I bought a newer SUV. When that died, we got a Jetta. She now has my sister’s Prius, and will “inherit” my Outback in about 3 years.

    D2 had the use of a second Jetta, and now uses H’s Accord. She didn’t get a license until she was 17 1/2. He bought a Crosstrek to replace the Accord, which has about 120K highway miles on it.
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  • momocarlymomocarly 892 replies11 threadsRegistered User Member
    At 16 they both got our old used SUVs. They were big, heavy, not worth a lot, reliable, and safe. One child totalled it after about a year. Due to things we had to get her a car so we got a used Honda CRV. It was realiable, inexpensive, insurance wasn't too crazy and a little higher off the ground. Key for her was inexpensive since she wasn't reliable. Son did well with his car so when going away to college (11 hours away from home) we got him a used Toyota 4-Runner that he loves. We wanted something that could handle the snow, higher up off the ground, could carry a saddle and other horse stuff (or a dorm room full of stuff) and had a good CR rating. He has driven that thing all over the country and loves it!
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  • Jugulator20Jugulator20 1535 replies18 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Our neighbor who was incredibly knowledgeable about cars bought his D Honda Civic. He felt it was the kind of car that could take a lot of abuse (eg not keeping up on regular maintenance) and keep on going. In our opinion if it was good enough for our neighbor’s kid, a Honda Civic was good enough for S. Although I know he’s has some periodic maintenance, he’s had it for 15 years and it has over 110K miles.
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  • dcolosidcolosi 532 replies23 threadsRegistered User Member
    Both my D's got cars at age 16 when they got their licenses. Older D we bought a used Honda Civic with very low miles. Younger D we bought a Honda CRV mainly because she plays Cello and her Cello just didn't fit easily into a Civic. We bought the vehicles we did because of reliability, and size for them. They are both reasonable for insurance, gas and maintenance. We wanted to try and get something that would get them through college.
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  • 1214mom1214mom 4552 replies180 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My kids got a Mazda 3 to drive when they first got their licenses. It had 5000 miles when we got it, and was pretty up to date on safety features. First kid drove it til he went to college, then had to wait until junior year in college to have car at school, while younger got to drive it for high school. You need a car to exit our neighborhood, and my husband and I both work full-time, so we were somewhat liberated by not having to rush home and get them someplace.
    I will share that my son eventually totaled that car in an ice related event. I wished I had given him an awd car, and after the incident he got a Subaru Impreza.
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  • MoonKnightMoonKnight 377 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    Thank you for the responses. I'm not a parent but I was just curious as to what cars other parents bought for their kids. As for my parents, they got me a Subaru Forester. They made a wise decision by buying it a couple of years before I started driving on my own. It was a matter of having cheaper insurance rates because the car wouldn't be brand new by the time I would drive. I actually liked their choice of car because it was one of the smaller SUVs making it easier to maneuver around tight spaces. The safety features on the car were also really good. The fact that it was an SUV also helped me not worry about clearance level and whether I would scratch the bottom of the car. Two of the things they considered when buying me a car were affordability and safety but they put safety first and opted for the more expensive version with bonus safety features.

    Has any parent out there bought their kid a luxury brand car like a BMW or Mercedes? What were your experiences buying your son or daughter that car? Just curious.
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  • cshell2cshell2 557 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    I bought my son an old...like really old (97) Toyota Camry for his 16th birthday last year. It was my uncle's so I knew it was well taken care of, but had high (195K miles). I only paid $500 and 200 bales of hay for it. :smile: I wanted something reasonably reliable that was inexpensive enough that I would be comfortable having liability only coverage on it because teen boys aren't cheap to insure. It went a full year without me having to put any money into it at all, but just recently it needed brakes and brake lines for $850 and the battery gave out while he was driving it...which I thought was weird. The battery was replaced under warranty, so if I make it another year on that $850 I'll be pretty happy. I don't think he'll be taking a car to college, so it will just be a spare for me at home after that.
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  • houndmomhoundmom 319 replies11 threadsRegistered User Member
    @MoonKnight My 1st kid learned to drive on a Volvo station wagon. When we decided to add a 3rd vehicle that would become his, I considered a used BMW X3, but ultimately decided a luxury vehicle might set him up for disappointment ... the idea of there's nowhere to go but down! I do know kids who start off with BMW, Porsche, Mercedes, etc. Even when those cars are hand-me-downs, it feels a little much for a teenager IMO

    My S ended up with a lightly used GMC Terrain that he still thinks is great. 2nd kid drives a Volvo which I plan to reclaim when she leaves for college.
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  • MoonKnightMoonKnight 377 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    @houndmom I agree that a luxury car is a bit much for a kid. Plus the maintenance costs for a bunch of those cars are generally higher.
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  • houndmomhoundmom 319 replies11 threadsRegistered User Member
    Maintenance costs can be A LOT higher on luxury vehicles. Don't get me started on the Mercedes SUV I owned for a number of years. Even the gas costs more as most luxury cars recommend premium.
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  • dentmom4dentmom4 1355 replies4 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Why would any realistic parent buy a luxury car for a teenager?
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  • MrThatcherMrThatcher 133 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Well, obviously I'm not a parent but I wanted to chime in.
    My first vehicle given to me by my parents was a 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander... that lasted a brief year then I upgraded to a 2014 Chevrolet Traverse 2LT then that also lasted a brief year before upgrading to a 2017 Volvo XC60 Inscription. @MoonKnight, since you asked about premium luxury for teens, here, is my opinion on it and I also asked my mother about it.

    I personally loved it when I got the XC60. Comfy and fast were just one of many attributes I could pin on that XC60. Then came the recently-replaced XC60 R-design which was nice but it was the one I had the longest for about a year and a quarter. My mother didn't like the R-Design so much because of it being sporty and "dangerous" as she always liked to say.

    Now jump to the current day, I have a 2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription and it is a joy to drive. I highly recommend any parent get their kid a luxury car because who wants to be seen in a beater, especially as a teen male? I know I wouldn't. I'll admit, I blasted the Migo's "Bad and Boujee" on the way home from the dealership lol.
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  • MrThatcherMrThatcher 133 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @cshell2 Well, I mean I know you're supposed to appreciate anything you're given but I mean shouldn't there be some thought into a gift though? I personally appreciate everything given to me.
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 38447 replies2106 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    My dad bought our D a car this Christmas. She was a 20-year-old college junior at the time. DH and I went shopping and found a 2015 Ford Fiesta for her. It's a perfect car for a college kid. She has to think very carefully about what to take to school in a limited amount of space.
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  • cshell2cshell2 557 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    There was a lot of thought into my son's beater gift. What is safe, what is affordable, what is practical for a 16 year old. The vast majority of people do not drive luxury vehicles. My own car is a 2007 Honda. I'm sure not buying my kid something 10X more expensive.
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  • thumper1thumper1 74811 replies3279 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    We bought our first kid a VERY old and used Volvo sedan...I think it was 12 years old. It was perfect...safe, and reliable. Second kid got to drive my old van. That worked just fine as well.

    Both of our kids got Toyota Camry from us as gifts...both several years out of college. The cars were previously leased and in excellent condition. $15,000 out the door.

    @MrThatcher we put plenty of thought into these gifts. There was no need to spend $65,000 plus on a car for either kid. And they are mighty thankful for their very reliable Camry.

    I’m a Volvo owner. If my kids want a luxury car, they can purchase one when they have the financial resources to do so. Our car purchases for them considered reliability ratings, and safety....and a reasonable cost.
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  • MrThatcherMrThatcher 133 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @thumper1 That's true. My cars were also considered many factors and price was one of them actually. My cousin actually just got a 2011 Toyota Corolla recently after I got my XC90 and boy was it awkward when he asked me what I got since he tries to follow my footsteps when it comes to cars. Since you are Volvo owner yourself, you gotta admit, there is nothing else better sounding than a Volvo door slam, especially the new SPA platform vehicles. It's like closing a vault, it's so good I think it might even be intoxicating at times.
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  • MoonKnightMoonKnight 377 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    @cshell2 I agree with you. As much as I'd want to drive around in a luxury car like a bunch of other kids, I wouldn't be able to fully appreciate it. I'd be able to appreciate it more if I worked for it and paid for it myself rather than have my parents give it to me. I'm thankful enough to have my own car especially for college.
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