Parenting teens comes with many ups and downs. It is exciting to see your child taking on more responsibilities and turning into an adult. At the same time, it may be overwhelming to settle with the notion of your teen embracing their independence while still relying on you for financial support.
There is no denying that driving is a balancing act, as you must trust your child to make the right decisions on the road while being fully aware of the financial toll it can take on you if they do not follow the rules. Consider teaching these tips when admonishing your teens on how to be responsible with their first car.
Keep documentation in the vehicle at all times
The law requires every driver to show their license as well as registration and proof of insurance when requested to do so by a law enforcement official. Your teen should understand that the officer does not have to provide a reason for pulling them over before asking for proper documentation that establishes their right to drive as well as proper documentation for the vehicle.
You should encourage your child to keep the vehicle's registration as well as the insurance card in the vehicle at all times. Most veteran drivers keep these items in the glove box so they are easily accessible when requested.
Budget for gas, repairs, and check-ups
In 2017, the revenue from new vehicle purchases surpassed $1 trillion. Among those who purchased new cars were parents buying vehicles for their teens. It is one thing to purchase a new car for your teen, but it is quite another to fully support them by paying for gas along with all repairs and check-ups.
You should strive to teach your child financial responsibility by informing them that you will pay for insurance as well as registration. They are, however, on their own when it comes to fuel and repairs caused by regular wear and tear. Establishing these boundaries will help your child plan better and think ahead before taking road trips or offering to drive their friends everywhere.
Safe driving habits
Safety is the number one issue with new drivers. The roadways in the United States average more than 5 million motor vehicle accidents per year. Among those who have collisions on the road are novice drivers who may not fully understand how to respond to sudden changes on the highways.
You should encourage your child to eliminate all distractions on the road. They do not need to engage in phone calls or text conversations of any sort while driving. In fact, it may be a good idea to advise your teen to turn off their smartphone until they arrive at their destination.
You should also limit the number of passengers your teen can have when driving. Peer pressure is real and extends beyond the school campus. Your teen should have a clear vision and clear thoughts when driving so that they make the right decisions.
Signs the vehicle has an issue
Your child should be aware of all the warning lights in the dashboard of the vehicle. These lights inform the driver when there may be issues with the vehicle. It is a good idea to encourage your child to read the car's handbook thoroughly before driving so they can get to know the vehicle better.
What happens when the vehicle sustains damage?
Your teen should understand that damage to their vehicle is not the end of the world. In fact, experts believe 80% to 90% of dents can be repaired using paintless dent repair (PDR) techniques. Taking care of the problem is often a matter of your child informing you so that a proper financial plan can be created to fix the damage.
When your teen starts driving, it can seem worrisome at first. However, if you teach them driving and financial responsibility, they will learn to make the right decisions on their own.