Should You Buy Your Teenager a Car?

Alright this is a legit question and I have friends on both sides of the fence.

One side says, “It makes my life easier and less running around for me.”

The other group says, “I am NOT going to just hand them a car, they need to earn it or pay for it or have some responsible part in it.”

I see both sides and I guess the decision has been pretty easy for us. We have 2 cars. My husband works from home most days, therefore allowing my daughter to drive herself to school some days or have access to it, pretty much, whenever she needs it.

We are not mechanical at all, so buying a $500 car is not a good idea for us. Spending the money on a car and having insurance on a 3rd car is not high on our list. Not that we don’t have the money, it’s just I don’t want to hand my child a car.

When you just give things to your kids it gives them a sense of entitlement. I have worked for years trying to get my kids to not have a sense of entitlement. We have tried to teach them the value of money.

Let’s say you do buy the car and give it to your child. It helps you and it makes life so much easier. Some of you might throw in running errands for you as part of their “pay.”

Then does your child pay for anything? Insurance? Gas? Repairs? Do they have any responsibility with this car that is “theirs?”

We haven’t gotten our daughter a car and it has not been an issue, at all. She has had her license for a year and a half.

I guess part of it comes from the way I was raised. I was not given a car in high school. I didn’t work much, so I didn’t have a ton of money and could only afford a motorcycle. That was my means of transportation.

I went off to college and my second year in my parents decided to give me their car. It was a ’78 Ford Thunderbird. To this day I don’t know if it was a blessing or a curse. (It was similar to the middle car in the picture above.) Nonetheless it was a car, a whole lot of car too.

So what do you think? Have you purchased a car for your child? Do they pay anything? Or have you chosen to have them share a car?

Read more to see what Frugal Dad has to say. We have been on the same page lately, pretty funny.