Does Your Teen Need a Car Now?

Often, the answer is “no.” Research shows that teens who have a car reserved for their use are twice as likely to experience a crash as those who share a car with other family members. Many experts recommend parents wait until their teens have been licensed for at least six months before they get a hand in choosing a car for their use.

AAA encourages you to wait before getting a car, so you can gauge three key factors:

  • Readiness: Has your teen demonstrated safe, responsible driving behavior? Make sure you have a parent-teen driving agreement in place and your teen has been driving successfully without you before handing over the keys.
  • Finances: Can you and your teen afford the cost of a car, insurance, gas and maintenance? Have you established who will pay for the car? Take time in choosing a car that’s safe and that fits your family budget.
  • Involvement: Before you make a purchase, evaluate whether your teen is ready to own, operate and maintain a car. Involving your teen in choosing a car can be a great learning experience regarding costs and responsibilities of vehicle ownership.