Buying a used car for your family

As your family matures, you will probably need to make some transportation related changes. Your kids will reach driving age and you may need to buy another car for your family. Rather than purchasing a new or used car from a dealership, many families find that it is economical to buy a used car from an individual. Here are some tips for maturing families who are buying used cars for their teenagers from individual sellers.

Shop around for safety
Before you start calling individuals who are selling their cars, you will need to do some research to find the used car that will keep your teenager safest. Look into safety ratings and talk to your insurance agent about cars that are known for being good buys for young drivers. Although it is ultimately up to you to decide what kind of car you buy for your teenager, many experts recommend avoiding very small cars, sports cars and large SUVs. Small cars may not provide as much protection as a family sized sedan, sports cars may be too fast and powerful for a novice driver to operate and SUVs can be prone to rolling over if the driver makes a careless turn.

Take the car for a test drive
This is important for both you and your teenager. You will need to take a test drive to listen and feel for any possible problems with the car. It can also be a good idea to let your teenager take the car for a spin so you can see if he or she is comfortable with the car’s features. Being sure that your new driver can comfortably manage the car’s size and systems can help you avoid buying a car that your teenager can’t handle.

If both you and your teenager feel good about the car you are looking at, it is a good idea to have a mechanic check it out and see if there are any necessary repairs or maintenance procedures that need to be done. It can also be a good idea to investigate the vehicle’s history in CARFAX. Taking these steps can help you avoid buying a lemon that could not only be costly to your family, but unsafe as well.

Also remember the inherit risk of having a teenage driver. Before you turn over the keys to that used car, have a serious family discussion. You will need to talk about drinking and driving, cell phones, car maintenance and how many people are allowed in the car at a time. Setting some boundaries for your teenager can not only save you money, but can also help keep him or her safe while driving.

(CARFAX and are registered trademarks of CARFAX, Inc.)


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