Buying your teen their first car

Do you remember buying your first car? Some of it may remember it as though it happened yesterday, and we all know a car enthusiast who remembers the day of their first car purchase more clearly than their wedding day…

Buying your first car as a teen is undoubtedly an exciting time in a young person’s life. It symbolises independence and progress into adulthood. Yet with the excitement and thrill of a car comes a very serious risk of danger. With car accidents being a leading cause of death amongst teens in Australia, it is important to ensure the car they choose is both affordable and safe.

Here are some things to look out for when helping your teen buy their first car.


Many teens don’t have a very large, regular income, so price is an important consideration. If they’re not feeling confident about negotiating car prices themselves, offer to go along with them to ensure they don’t get bullied or overwhelmed and confused by all the numbers.


Since your teen has most likely just started driving, you need to remember that they must find a car that they are able to comfortably drive. Something too big may be difficult to steer and park and they are unlikely to need something as big as a 4WD anyway. Smaller cars can also be more fuel efficient.


Of course, aesthetics aren’t a completely irrelevant consideration. Just like any car driver, you should find something that you like the look of, and that you’ll be proud and confident to drive. For a second hand car, the appearance can also be an indication of its condition and how well it’s been taken care of by its previous owner. Keeping these things in mind when helping to find the perfect first car for your teen will ensure they get a safe, cost-effective car, and that you get peace of mind when your kids are on the road.

Safety ratings

As mentioned before, road accidents are a very real risk associated with driving, so it is important to check the safety features of every car you view. Online car magazines and websites offer up to date safety ratings and reviews on most car models, so check online if you find something you like. The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) is the go-to independent site for safety ratings on hundreds of car models.


When buying a second hand car, perform all the checks as you normally would in regards to whether the car has had any previous accidents, how old it is and how well it has been serviced and looked after by the owner. A teen will not be able to afford to regularly repair and service an old car that keeps breaking down, and as a parent, you probably won’t want to be paying for it either. Online sites can easily help you find used cars in Perth, WA, or any other major city in Australia, but make sure to ask the owner plenty of questions.

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