Every high school kid dreams of getting a license and a car of their own. For most teens, cars represent freedom. But sometimes freedom can be hard to handle. If you’re thinking of buying your first car, or if you’re the parent of a high schooler, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of having a car in high school before making the purchase.
Pros of Having a Car
For kids and parents alike, the biggest pro of having a car in high school is the ability to drive yourself to and from school. For parents, that marks the end of chauffeur duty. For kids, that marks the era of cool. If your son or daughter is into after-school activities, having a car makes their schedule easier to manage and more flexible. It makes participation in events less of a challenge. Evening football games, dances, and other social events are also easier to manage when your child can drive themselves. They’ll learn responsibility while Mom and Dad suddenly have a lot more time on their hands.
Cons of Having a Car
The biggest con of a teenager having a car in high school is the danger factor. Kids are often bad decision-makers, which means the possibility of piling their friends into the car for a joyride. That can lead to some dangerous situations, which don’t always end well.
Another downside is cost. Car insurance is expensive, but insurance for a teenage driver is even more so. If you add your teenage driver to your insurance policy, you may find that your rates skyrocket. To help offset costs, ask your son or daughter to pitch in towards the premium. Having a car is a responsibility, much like an after-school job.
Finally, there is the maintenance aspect. You don’t want to put your teenage driver in a brand new vehicle because the cost of the car coupled with the insurance premiums can be expensive. However, older cars tend to cost more in maintenance, which can also be a real strain on the family budget. Finding the balance between a good used vehicle and affordable insurance is essential.
Whether or not you choose to get your teenage driver a car will depend on how you weigh the pros and cons. Only you and your child can decide if getting a car for your high school driver is the right choice for your family. If your teenager is responsible and you find you have the resources available, obtaining a car for them may be a good lesson in independence.