Tips on buying a car for your teen

Tips on buying a car for your teen

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

Where do you start when looking for a car for your older teens? They might be going off to college in the fall or just need a ride to their summer job.

Most parents are experienced car buyers. They basically know what they're doing. But when they have a persuasive teen hanging onto their arm at the dealership, it's possible they could get weak and buy a car that is out of their price range. So, what can you do?

Buying a car is exciting no matter how old you are. But for teens getting their first car, it's something special.

"Buying a car is so emotional.  You open up the door to the car.  You smell the new car smell, you're gone; you're in heaven," said Tywone Thomas.

Thomas is a car buying advisor who works with credit unions to get people into automobiles.  He has a book that lists the 10 mistakes to avoid when you buy a teen a car.

He says before you shop, stop at the kitchen table.  You need to let your teen know how much you are willing to pay so there is no begging for something better at the dealership.

"You bump into that car with leather, that's outside of the pricing parameters. All of the sudden it brings us back.  You can remind Sara, 'Do you remember? We talked about...these are the parameters. These are the expectations. This is what we need to stick with,'" said Thomas.

Parents should not shop without pre-approval. Have your loan secure since it makes you look like a cash buyer to the salesman.

"If you're financing a vehicle, get pre-approved first. That can eliminate countless hours at a dealership," said Thomas.

Don't accept the first offer, he says. Shop around for your teen's car. If it's a used car, get a vehicle history report.  Find out the dealer's invoice price.  The manufacturer's recommended retail price, usually in bold print on the sticker, is not the lower, invoice price.

When many of us got our first car it was used. That's just how it was done. Today, with the cash for clunkers rebate mixed with a bad economy, the best deal might be a new car.  A new car, if you can afford it, gives you peace of mind.

"If your student is going off maybe four or five hours away, do you want them calling you every time the car breaks down?" asked Thomas.

Don't pay more than $15,000 - $20,000 for a teenager's first car. Whatever you are willing to spend, don't compromise safety.

"It really doesn't matter what your economical background may be but I think safety, mileage per gallon, and reliability of the car makes a difference," Thomas said.

To obtain a free copy of the book, click here.

  • I-Team Story ArchiveMore>>

  • Attorney General reopens investigation into DeKalb travel agent

    Attorney General reopens investigation into DeKalb travel agent

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:31 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:31:25 GMT
    FOX 5 I-Team InvestigatesFOX 5 I-Team Investigates
    A local travel agency owner, who's been ordered by the Attorney General's office to clean up his act, is facing the same complaints again. First, there were Girl Scouts then church ladies and now a family planning a cruise says its out $21,000.
    A local travel agency owner, who's been ordered by the Attorney General's office to clean up his act, is facing the same complaints again. First, there were Girl Scouts then church ladies and now a family planning a cruise says its out $21,000.
  • Ray McBerry ex-employee speaks

    Ray McBerry ex-employee speaks

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:02 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:02:51 GMT
    A second young woman filed a Henry County police complaint accusing former gubernatorial candidate Ray McBerry of some bizarre behavior.
    A second young woman filed a Henry County police complaint accusing former gubernatorial candidate Ray McBerry of some bizarre behavior.
  • Mom confronts Ray McBerry over modeling request

    Mom confronts Ray McBerry over modeling request

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:04 PM EDT2014-07-30 16:04:32 GMT
    A twice-failed candidate for Georgia governor found himself face-to-face with a mother furious over what he was trying to do this month with her teenage daughter.
    A twice-failed candidate for Georgia governor found himself face-to-face with a mother furious over what he was trying to do this month with her teenage daughter.
  • Contact the FOX 5 I-Team

    * denotes required fields

    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for contacting FOX 5.  To reach our newsroom by phone, please call (404) 898-0100.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • Good Day Atlanta

    Pike Nurseries: Keeping beautiful Hydrangeas

    Pike Nurseries: Keeping beautiful Hydrangeas

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:40 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:40:27 GMT
    Looking for plants that add fresh color to the garden? Here are some easy ideas that use new varieties of old favorites--the hydrangea and azalea—that bloom from now until fall!
    Looking for plants that add fresh color to the garden? Here are some easy ideas that use new varieties of old favorites--the hydrangea and azalea—that bloom from now until fall!
  • Local Companies Partner To Make "Green" Beer

    Local Companies Partner To Make "Green" Beer

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:39 AM EDT2014-08-01 13:39:03 GMT
    Since it seems like there's a day for everything, get this -- today is "International Beer Day!"  And one local brewing company is celebrating
    Since it seems like there's a day for everything, get this -- today is "International Beer Day!"
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices