Buying a car for D. Need advice!

<p>Buying a car for D: need advice and moral support </p>

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<p>All,</p>

<p>I am considering buying a car for D. She does not need one for school as she lives on campus, but now that she is home for summer, I see that it would help her to have one; there are a few times during the year when I would let her take it to school as well, for specific trips and such.</p>

<p>I can afford about $5000 - $7000 for this car. D has a license and driving experience with me but has not logged many miles driving alone and none with friends (other than passenger). She is a good driver, though I notice she likes to go 5 mph over the speed limit which is concerning. Other than that, good kid, responsible, and so on.</p>

<p>The real issue here is that I am terrified to let her drive much or at distance. I just fear that she will be in an accident. All of her friends have cars and drive over to our house to visit and so forth -- and I feel badly that my fears are limiting D. Who, by the way, does not complain nor ask for me to buy her a car. </p>

<p>So...? Wait a year or 6 months? Revisit the idea? Let her use my car once in a while this summer? Tranquilize myself??</p>

<p>Your thoughts??</p>

<p>*D is 19 and will be sophmore in Fall. School does not allow sophmores to have cars at school. It would be parked at home save for a few specific occasions in the school year.</p>

<p>Before you buy a car...try to figure out the real reasons your daughter needs one. Cars are an expense. Having another car on your insurance with a young driver will increase your rates. Cars are an expense...not just the purchase price but everything associated with them.</p>

<p>When our kids were home for the summers or vacations from college, we figured out ways to "jockey" around the cars we had. We didn't buy an extra car. We didn't buy a car for exactly the reasons you note...kids couldn't have them in college...and we did NOT want an extra car sitting around our house most of the year.</p>

<p>If you want a used car...look at used Honda Civics...you might be able to get an older model one within your price range.</p>

<p>We have always had good luck with used Tauruses. They have a 5 star rating for safety. Make sure you get a car with anti-lock brakes.</p>

<p>We have also jockeyed cars in the summer as our d didn't want one during the school year. Financially, I think that makes the most sense. I would encourage her to drive, though, as practice is what helps to make a better driver. Don't let her know it terrifies you. Or at least let her know it is you with the problem and not that she is a bad driver. Confidence is an important part of driving.</p>

<p>My son did not get a car until he was a sophmore in college and then only because he needed it to get to work. We shared cars before that. A car is a huge expense, one I would not take on until absolutely neccesary. My daughter got a car when she got her license at 16. She is an athlete and I wanted her to be able to get herself to practice, especially the 5:00am ones!</p>

<p>As for the emotional part, I understand your fear of your daughter driving. I was also terrified when my daughter started driving. I was less worried about her experience because she had logged lots of driving hours, including several 2+ hour trips, while she had her permit. But I was, and still am, worried about her being alone. I hate when she goes to the mall by herself and I constantly remind her to park under the lights at night. I also push the buddy system, all walk to one car together and then drop the others off at their car. What works for me is having her call me when she arrives and when she leaves, so that I know when to expect her. We also bought her a car that has hands-free cell phone built in. And she is not allowed to text while in the car and I check her phone randomly. I know I am overprotective, but I don't really care. She is my only daughter and it is my responsibility to protect her and teach her to protect herself.</p>

<p>We bought Toyota Matrix for our D. She likes it. She can put back seats down to fit more stuff. I made sure that she has lots of experience while at home. There is no quarantee, but you cannot keep them imprisoned either. The more they drive now, the better for later. It is unavoidable and there is no experience gained by not driving, older age will not make them better drivers. Yes, accidents happen, what can we do except for gaining experience in how to drive to minimize exposure to accidents.</p>

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The real issue here is that I am terrified to let her drive much or at distance. I just fear that she will be in an accident. All of her friends have cars and drive over to our house to visit and so forth -- and I feel badly that my fears are limiting D. Who, by the way, does not complain nor ask for me to buy her a car.

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<p>Others can debate whether or not you should get a car or what model. Since your post suggests that's not the "real issue," I guess I'll address what is. It is totally normal to worry about your daughter's safety. I get it. My youngest is 16 and driving now, and I always feel a little uneasy when she pulls out of the driveway. But your daughter is 19, and you are right, you shouldn't let your fears limit your daughter. The more she drives, the better she will be at it. My older daughter just turned 20, and if she is out and running a little late, I worry. But I try to keep it to myself and not let her know because I don't want her to think that I don't trust that she is a competent, responsible driver. I know she is, but of course, I don't know about the people she's sharing the road with.</p>

<p>For the rest of her life, if your daughter drives a car or is a passenger in a car, there is always the chance of an accident. It's something we all have to live with and just put out of our minds. We can't keep our children in an insulated bubble-they want to live, to go and do. Good luck, I feel your pain.</p>

<p>Agree with above ^^^. I still get uncomfortable with my kids driving, but that is my own struggle and not theirs. What I do ask for (especially if they are taking my car) is updating via text or call (not while driving!!!). Let me know when you get to your destination if it's not local. Text me if you are going to be late. Let me know if you decide to go someplace totally different than the initial destination. All these things help me to be more willing to loan out my car, makes me bug them less and help me not have a heart attack when I hear ambulance sirens in the neighborhood. </p>

<p>Doesn't sound like your D really needs/wants the car. Put the $$ aside for now - then when she is ready, hopefully you will feel more comfortable and you will have the $$ ready. </p>

<p>As for this summer, loan your car when you can and she wants it and make sure you continue to give her lots of driving experience. Even when the two of you go places, let her drive more often - maybe you'll get more confident. :)</p>

<p>My 20 yr old girl is a good driver who, for circumstantial reasons, hasn't gotten as much highway experience as I wish she had. My 16 yr old is taking a road test in 3 weeks, surprisingly competent, will have to drive herself an hour each way for a year starting in September (community college program for HS seniors). I feel your fear, of course, but I think the best thing for both of you is for your daughter to drive alone. A lot. She'll be safest when the car feels as natural as her limbs. You might feel better when you realize she's become seasoned without you. It couldn't hurt to tell her "I worry too much, it's me not you, just pat me on the head and go". 5 miles over the speed limit in most circumstances is hardly reckless. Good luck.</p>

<p>I was thinking the same thing as abasket -- what does your D want/need? </p>

<p>Our D got her license last summer (at 19, a late-bloomer) and is a good, careful, not nervous driver, but she does not have a lot of driving experience. H and I were kind of expecting this summer to have the "can I have a car" campaign begin (ours is a one-car family), but to my surprise, she told me a few weeks ago that she really doesn't want to think about that anytime soon. She''ll be a junior and still living on campus come the fall, and told me that the cons far outweighed the pros in her opinion, at least for the next year or so. </p>

<p>I must admit I am happy to have her get a lot more miles under her driving belt, including in winter weather and other challenging conditions (upstate NY!), before she has her own car. And even better, it's her own idea, so I'm not perceived as being a nervous fuddly-duddy mom :)</p>

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The more she drives, the better she will be at it.

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I think this is very important--and I also think that the younger they are when they get this experience, the more natural driving will be to them for their entire lives.</p>

<p>As for what car to get, we like Subarus, especially the Outback station wagon.</p>

<p>By delaying things a year, maybe you can also save up a bit more cash and then have more car options to purchase.</p>

<p>What scares me here is the budget. I'd rather give my experienced driver a newer car with side air bags and better breaking and newer safety features--that would be hard to get for $7K. I'm with delaying and saving more and maybe encouraging DD to save and contribute too.</p>

<p>If all you can afford is $7K or so, and there is not a pressing need for a car, and a great deal on one isn't staring you in the face, it is not a good idea to get one. They are money pitts. Repairs and maintenance on an older car is a lot of time, work and money. If your D is not that hep on getting a car, it's going to be difficult for her to be motivated to keep it up which means that it's another car for you to maintain. </p>

<p>Why don't you save the money for later when your D needs and wants a car? With that amount banked, you could perhaps have accumulated a bit more by that time and could get her a better car.</p>

<p>The advantage of letting her drive the family car (the jockeying around cars idea) is I would imagine the family car probably has more safety features than a $7K used car, so it would be safer for her to drive. That said, you can buy a car for the summer, and sell it in the fall when she returns to school.</p>

<p>You are clearly not comfortable with letting your daughter drive distances. It would be an expense to buy a car for it to just sit in the driveway for the better part of the year.
We also jockey our cars around so that my daughter can drive the car occasionally, but it is just an unecessary expense IMHO.</p>

<p>Thank you all <em>so</em> much. Your feedback is invaluable. D does all of our errand driving and so on now that she is home, driving in our big safe air-bags a-plenty new car. I asked her at several points today her speed and the speed limit and she was never over the limit. My perception is that the car is going fast, however. So, a good reality check.</p>

<p>I thought about giving her my car and buying another one, but really, the expense is considerable (to sit in the driveway most of the year). I decided that if she needed a car for something urgent this summer that it would be better and cheaper to rent one for myself and let her drive mine; again, she has not expressed interest in having her own car. (She may know better to ask! LOL!) </p>

<p>So the rental option takes care of this summer, if it becomes an issue, and I will revisit this next year when she will be able to take a car to school (Fall 2011); it is also possible that the next time I get a new car, I will hand my current car down to her. </p>

<p>In any event, she drove well today; I felt better about her driving. She does need as much experience as she can get, since she did not get her license until July 2009.</p>

<p>Thanks, everyone! :-)</p>