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  #11  
Old 11-30-2011, 09:57 AM
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My first car was a 1979 Toyota Celica GT. I bought it for $1000 in 1987. Didn't get great gas mileage (especially being a "sporty" car with a 5 speed and a 16 year old with cement blocks on his feet ). The car was a two door with a small back seat and a lift-back (hatch back). I drove all of my friends around everywhere. Always had at least one, and often 3 or 4 friends shoehorned in there. I got 9 in once (including me as the driver), but 3 were laying in the back under the lift back, 3 shoehorned in the back seat and two sharing the passenger seat.

What's my point? If I had a massive vehicle like an expedition or a full size van/wagon, I'd have overfilled that even more. Kids are dumb, no matter their gender, upbringing or education - especially testosterone poisoned young men, but ladies as well. An expedition is a terrible car for a new driver.

Based on what's out there, I'd say a good first car would be your Civics, Corollas, Cavaliers, Neons (or other late 90's Dodge "cloud cars"), Elantras, etc. Smallish cars with decent safety ratings and good fuel economy. I'd steer clear of SUVs, Subarus (only for the above mentioned "abuse" thing), vans and such. I'd also steer away from the top end type vehicles (BMW, Lexus, etc.). The insurance costs are killer.

Take a stroll around your local pick and pull salvage yard and look for the cars with front end damage and take a look at the passenger compartment. How did it survive the crash? Insurance industry safety ratings are one thing, but seeing real-world results does wonders for your purchase decision.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:06 AM
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My first car was an 89 Nissan Maxima that my parents paid $1500 for. I was expected to pay gas and upkeep and they paid the insurance.

My current car at 25 years old is an 06 Ford Escape and I love it. Roomy enough to travel with the dogs which is what I wanted.

Josh and I haven't talked about what we would do regarding a car for our future kids. We might either hand down a car or buy an older car. I don't mind paying insurance and giving a gas allowance, but the gas allowance will be enough for commute to and from school only. Anything extra my kids will have to pay for extra. If they want to drive around to places with friends then they can get a job to pay the extra gas.

One of my sisters got a 90 something Honda Prelude for her first car in high school. She is 23 years old now and still driving the same car.

Another sister got a Ford Explorer I believe for her first. She sold it to a friend when she moved out of state for college and currently doesn't have a car since freshman aren't allowed to drive on college campus apparently.
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  #13  
Old 11-30-2011, 10:07 AM
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Whatever the 16 year old can afford I would probably help, but only after the kid showed me they had it together enough to buy, insure and gas up their own car.

Mine? An OLD '78 Cutlass Supreme SX with a 455 high compression engine, 4 barrel, positrack rear and turbo transmission. Yes, I bought it and paid for everything myself when I was 18 and living on my own and working at Wallyworld.
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  #14  
Old 11-30-2011, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stardogs View Post
I'm of the mindset that kids don't need fancy, giant, or brand new cars. DH and I will be doing the hand-me-down thing for any kids we have because we'd prefer that they spend their time on school rather than working to pay for a car. They'll get a gas allowance and we'll pay their insurance while they are in school, but if they want a newer vehicle, want to drive more than the gas allowance allows for, or decide not to go to college, then they will assume the additional costs themselves.
This is pretty much how I feel. I'd rather give my kid something that I feel safe with them in, and they can spend their time on school rather than try to save up for a car. I definitely know the value of a dollar and I didn't have to buy my own car- I appreciated having my first car given to me. It gave me 6 years of not having to worry about car costs.

I definitely agree with the cars that Eddie listed.

Insurance costs are high enough for 16 year olds anyway with econo cars- I think my mom pays $250 for my sister's Civic every month
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:22 AM
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Frankly, I'm not sure a 16 year old NEEDS a car. Sure, some do, and for some parents it's going to make their lives easier, but it's not a basic life necessity and the world isn't going to end (even though they're going to tell you it is) because a 16 year old doesn't have their very own car. Remember, that area of the brain that governs inhibiting spontaneous behavior is still in developmental stages.
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  #16  
Old 11-30-2011, 10:23 AM
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My dad did go out and buy me a truck when I was 14 and a half. He was really excited about me learning to drive. He then sold the truck (for a profit--go dad) when I was 15, because I couldn't see over the steering wheel, due to my back being short.

My real first car was my grandpa's 1990 Accord. I love that car. <3 My sister drives it now.

Had my parents waited for me to be able to purchase a car, I would have been 19 or 20 when I learned to drive. I don't think they wanted to drive me around that long.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:25 AM
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I bought my first car my junior year of college to commute to a summer internship. It was a 2000 mitsubishi eclipse--and I still drive it today! I paid $6000 for it, and it's lasted me 5 years so far and still only has 90k miles on it--not bad

In high school, my parents would let me drive one of the family cars when necessary, but I didn't really have much of a need to drive anywhere. I only lived 2 miles from school, so my sister and I walked, soccer practice was after school on the high school campus, and my parents went to church and volunteering with us so they drove.
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  #18  
Old 11-30-2011, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Jessie~ View Post
Insurance costs are high enough for 16 year olds anyway with econo cars- I think my mom pays $250 for my sister's Civic every month
That must be regional. I called my insurance company to check on adding my 16 year old once she has her license. They said to put her as the primary on my Neon (my beater I drive to work) as it would be cheapest. The additional cost was 50 bucks a month.
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  #19  
Old 11-30-2011, 10:28 AM
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At 16 it WAS a necessity for me to have a car. I lived on the opposite side of town to my school and work and pretty much everything and the bus system is garbage here (not to mention dangerous with the "wildlife"). My mum works an important job where she couldn't be carting me around from school to soccer to work to whatever whenever needed and she was often travelling too.
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  #20  
Old 11-30-2011, 10:30 AM
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Oh, I totally agree an Expedition is a ridiculous car for a 16 year old. But I can definitely understand parents wanting their kid in an SUV instead of a small sedan.

I would buy my kid their first car...provided they have a good reason for their own car (a steady job that I can't reliably drive them to, or needing to drive to school), get good grades, and are responsible and I feel they will be a safe driver. I do think kids need to work hard for what they have, but if part of that is working hard in school and being a responsible family member and contributing to society, I don't mind rewarding it. Besides, in a lot of places (like where I grew up) it's pretty hard for a high schooler to get a job and get to it with working parents, and near impossible to get to college without a car or a reliable ride every day.
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