Headline says it all. Don’t buy your kid a brand new car for their first car. Don’t do it, I know you want to. I know you want to make them happy, show them you love them. We get it. They’ll be cool if they get a brand new car, you’ll feel safer with them on the road knowing they have the latest safety features and the car shouldn’t be breaking down. All of that makes sense and that’s what America wants, but don’t do it.
Why you should not buy your kid a new car
I’m 25, been driving for almost a decade and have yet to have a brand new car. Why? Because it doesn’t make sense for me:
- It’s literally one of the worst investments of your life.
While I love cars, buying a new one doesn’t really appeal to me. It didn’t appeal to my parents either, they didn’t want to hand me something and at 16 that pissed me off. Instead I got to drive one of the cars in their garage, that car? A 1984 Chevy Monte Carlo SS, 350, lowered 2 inches with a cowl hood.
If I lived on Long Island in 1985 I would have been hot shit. Instead I lived in the suburbs of Cincinnati. But that car, while I didn’t want it at first turned out to be one of my favorite cars ever. I drove that thing for 4 years, sure it wasn’t cool in 2006 but I had the most unique car in the school parking lot and everyone wanted to see it. It didn’t have airbags, traction control and sometimes air conditioning. But it was great, I learned to drive in the snow in that car. A rear wheel drive car in the snow is the most fun you can have. And I never go into an accident.
How about my friends?
While all my friends got hand downed Accords and Civics I had something unique. While I didn’t realize it at the time I totally appreciate it today. Now I sit here a weekend removed from listening to my 16 year old cousin talk about getting a 2016 Camry for his first car. That’s cool, it’s super safe, will run for a century and have no problems. But there is nothing fun about that car. It blends in with society, it has no sport to it, no sense of fun. It’s the car that has sex missionary for it’s whole life and thinks it’s cool. It’s not.
Buy them something they can have fun in
Buy your kid something exciting. No don’t buy them an SRT Challenger or an STI for their first car, most 16 year olds aren’t responsible enough for that. But buy them something they can have fun in. Buy them a WRX, a Charger, a Magnum, Mustang, Mazda Speed3 or a Miata. Buy them something they can customize, have some fun in. Don’t buy them a piece of shit, that’s dumb on your part and theirs but buy them something within the last 5-7 years. Chances are they’re going to beat the shit out of them, dent it and you’ll pass it down to your next kid. But let them have some fun.
How about if you have a daughter?
Thankfully I never had to drive and accord, Camry or Malibu. Don’t do that to your kids, don’t kill car culture. If you have a daughter, sure buy them whatever, literally have no clue what you buy a girl. A Scion Tc? Woo. Don’t buy her a BMW, Mercedes or you’ll be building a nightmare for yourself. Buy your kid something they’ll like, they’ll meet other people with the same car, they’ll have some fun.
Hit up Craigslist and find something.