What To Consider Before Buying A Vehicle For Your Child

By: Jim Champion/The Auto Guy Email
By: Jim Champion/The Auto Guy Email

Choosing a vehicle for your child can be challenging, especially when all they are concerned about is what type of sound system it has inside. Here are a few tips for you to think about before you buy.

The first thing to consider is how your child will fit in the vehicle. They have to be able to comfortably sit in the driver’s seat to be able to have good vision and reach the steering wheel and pedal. Make sure that they not only fit in the vehicle, but that they can safely see out in all directions.

Insurance on the vehicle can be a huge ongoing expense. Check with your insurance agent before purchasing a vehicle to see how expensive it will be to insure before you buy it. Also ask your agent some questions before you do the paperwork to purchase the vehicle because how it is titled usually affects your rates.

Getting a Carfax on a vehicle is always a good idea. While there are no guarantees that every bit of the vehicle’s history will be included in the Carfax report, spending around $30 for the service can give you some useful background information.

Taking the vehicle for an extended test drive is a must. Try all of the accessories to make sure that they work and pay attention for any noises or other issues along the way.

No matter what type of vehicle you buy, have it inspected by a mechanic before you buy it. You certainly don't want to find out later that it has been in a bad crash or needs a lot of expensive mechanical repairs. When you are at the shop, you should also ask your mechanic how expensive that particular type of vehicle is to repair and maintain.

Sometimes you will see a vehicle for sale with a salvage title. Be leery of buying this sort of vehicle because it has had some sort of major damage in the past to get the salvage title designation. If you are interested in purchasing a vehicle with a salvage title, a pre-purchase inspection is an absolute must to make sure that the vehicle was repaired properly.

Gas mileage is always important, but sometimes paying thousands of extra dollars for a vehicle that gets a little better mileage might not pay off in the long run. If your child is not going to drive long distances, you might be money ahead buying a vehicle that gets a few less miles per gallon, if the purchase price is significantly lower.

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to how much you spend on a vehicle for your child. Some people would rather spend more money and get a newer vehicle with low miles while others want to spend a lesser amount and get a little older vehicle. The most important thing is that you make sure that whatever you purchase is safe and ready for your child to drive.


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