As they grow older, our children are constantly gaining more independence and a need to distance themselves from their parents. It’s their own way of making their mark on the world; a sort of can-do attitude with us as a safety net. It’s not something that we even think about, but it can hurt when their need to go out and do things goes against what you know to be safe, morally right or what you want to happen/do. Unfortunately, it’s a learning curb for both them and you, and it’s one of the rites of passage for growing up. That doesn’t mean that you can’t do certain things to help them – especially if they’re learning to drive.
Choose the Vehicle
If you let a teenager loose on their choice of vehicle, chances are that they’re not going to come back with the safest – and certainly not the cheapest. You ideally want one that’s got enough power to get them going but not take them up to super fast speeds in double-quick time. Try and choose one with a lower engine size, with 1.2 being the biggest for insurance purposes and peace of mind. You want to be choosing a car that has good safety reviews and has been serviced regularly to pick up any issues that may have arisen over the past years.
If you are buying brand new, make sure that you read the recommendations and ask for the features in terms of safety on the car from the salesperson – warts and all. If you are hearing spiel about how it’s the best car in the world rather than them giving you the information that you want, simply turn your back on them and walk out – it’s your child’s life that you are putting into their hands, and you need the best.
Pick the Right Insurance
Insurance doesn’t cover absolutely everything, but it can get you pretty close. You are more likely to crash during your first year of driving than at any other time, and this is why insurance prices for teenagers and those who have just got their licence is bigger than any other premium that you will most likely pay for the rest of your life.
It can be quite a deep dig into the pocket to cover it. It may be that your child doesn’t want to start by learning to drive a car, but wants to take onto the road on a motorcycle instead. You would want to make sure that you have a good motorcycle accident attorney on board if this is the case, or at least know how to get in touch with one; motorcycle accidents are growing more and more common, not least because there are more of them on the road, but because those in cars just aren’t looking around and taking them into account when turning and overtaking. This can be a scary thought for any parent, but one that definitely needs to be taken on board. Ensuring that you have chosen a fully comprehensive cover rather than choosing the cheapest option will give you the peace of mind that you are looking for, and cover you further than you would otherwise get.
Help Them Learn
Either by buying them lessons to take with a qualified instructor or taking them out on the odd drive after school, helping your children learn to drive can be such a rewarding experience. If you aren’t too confident on your driving skills, or you know that you have bad habits that can definitely be worked on, it may be time for you to go on a refresher course yourself to ensure that you are giving over the right information to your child to work from. It’s not an embarrassing fact to consider in any way – you are bettering yourself to help your child.
Give Them Freedom
It’s natural to want to know what your child is up to all the time, but driving gives them the freedom that they crave – and a chance to get away from you as quickly as possible! Allowing them to come and go as they please isn’t the right course of action for every parent, but accepting that they will want to exercise their right to drive and go out with their friends is something that you need to accept. This is harder for them to do if they’re sharing a vehicle with the family, so that is one option to consider if you can’t afford to buy them their own car outright.
If you liked this post, you may like my memories of buying my first car.
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