Buying a car for your children is an uplifting feeling. It’s somewhat akin to seeing them ride a bike for the first time, watching them ride off into the distance with the training wheels still attached. Sadly, a car is a much more expensive purchase than a bicycle and there are many dangers and concerns that will come with it. So to help you get your child behind the wheel, here are a couple of tips to get you started.
Consider what type of car your child wants
Your children are probably already thinking about sports cars, a flashy coupe or perhaps something incredible such as an Aston Martin. However, these are all incredibly expensive and owning a flashy vehicle doesn’t make you a man or woman. It’s important to practice modesty when it comes to picking your child’s first vehicle. Think about things such as the engine size; if the engine is large and powerful, it opens up the opportunity for your child to easily speed or end up in a motoring accident which is the last thing you want. You need to think about safety, so getting a car with a modest engine will ensure that your child isn’t tempted to speed and it also lowers the cost of insurance.
Buying second-hand or new is going to be another factor. Your child might not like the idea of buying a second-hand car, but this is a great opportunity to teach your child about how vehicles work and how buying a used vehicle isn’t necessary a bad thing. Of course, if you have the funds to buy a new car and you’re willing to support that decision then you can treat them to a special gift. Buying a new car will give your child some more confidence in their purchase and they won’t feel as bad telling their friends they got a new car, only to reveal to them it’s used.
Next, you have to consider the features. If your child plans to drive family members around or use it to ferry their friends to and from places, then consider getting a car with plenty of space. However, if your child prefers a personal vehicle, then pick something smaller with fewer doors. These cars tend to either look more stylish and modern, or they are cheaper to purchase and insure.
Remember emergency contacts and safety
Practicing road safety is the best bit of advice you can give to a new driver. Make sure you get into the car with your child when they drive and teach them all about the laws of the road. This will help them pass their test more easily, but it will also give you peace of mind when your child eventually gets their own car and is driving it around without your supervision.
Make sure you teach your child about all the emergency contacts they need to know when they drive. For instance, they probably already know emergency numbers for the local authorities and medical services, but it’s also important to teach them about lawyers and insurance companies. When most people suffer a motoring accident, they panic and make the situation worse by starting a fight, driving off or simply forgetting emergency contact numbers.
For instance, it’s a good idea that you tell your children about a personal injury lawyer or recommend them one that you have contacted in the past. It’s important to find a lawyer that specializes in motoring accidents such as David & Philpot, P.L. because they offer a vast range of services that are tailor-made for drivers. If your child suffers an accident and they don’t know the correct protocol or how to react, then it could leave some long-lasting effects on their mental health or they might even be put off of driving forever. Tell them about the reality of how accidents happen, what to do afterwards and how they can avoid it by practicing road safety.
Get in the car with them
One of the best ways to show interest in getting your child behind the wheel is to get into the car as they drive. If they’re a complete beginner, then give them time to adjust to your vehicle and learn the basics. Remember to teach them simple rules such as keeping their hands at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions and make it a habit for them to check their rear view mirrors, engine health and fuel levels before taking off. If you drive a manual transmission car, make sure you teach them about how to work the clutch and the positions of the gearbox. It can be difficult trying to teach your child how to drive stick because it takes a lot of muscle memory and practice, so if they plan to buy a car with an automatic transmission, try to avoid teaching them inside of a manual transmission car.
When you’re in the car with your child it’s important not to be condescending or point out every little mistake they make. You have to give them space and accept the fact they will mess up a couple of times. Practice makes perfect, after all, so allow them to correct their own mistakes and point out what they did wrong and be supportive when they do something incorrectly.
It’s a good idea to get into the driver’s seat before you let your kids touch the wheel. Make sure they’re sitting in the passenger’s seat and narrate your driving so they can have a good understanding of how the car works. Don’t skip any safety measures either. For instance, make sure you’re doing basic vehicle checks before you start up the engine and walk them through the process of checking your vehicle. Tell them every little detail and ask them to repeat it back to you once you’re done to ensure they understood everything. Remember to be patient with your children because learning to drive can be rather daunting. Don’t rush them and don’t push them into it, give it time and let them learn at their own pace.