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Last Updated on February 17, 2017 by Diane Hoffmaster
This discussion about tips for car shopping has been sponsored by Capital One but all opinions expressed here are my own.
Several months ago, my son got his learners permit and he is in the process of taking Drivers Education and becoming a real life driver. To be honest, the entire concept scares the heck out of me! We live in a very large metropolitan area with congested highways and drivers who think they are actually on a race track. We had always assumed that our kids would inherit our 16-year-old pickup truck as their first car but I'm starting to have my doubts. Is it safe enough? Pickup trucks have questionable traction in the back due to their design. Maybe a newer vehicle is a better choice when it comes to up to date safety features? There are so many things to consider when it comes to providing a vehicle for your child to drive! I have started researching a few car shopping tips that will make the process easier. Buying a car isn't something that should be rushed but (like most parents) I am working with a busy schedule and a teen who thinks he needs a brand new Corvette convertible! Keep reading for a few tips for car shopping, as well as information about the Capital One Auto Navigator site that will really streamline the whole process for you.
Tips for Car Shopping: Teen Reality Check
The thing about most teens is that they really don't understand the reality of car buying. When I was a teen, my dad bought me a car. Well, as my dad told me quite frequently, he bought HIMSELF a car that he allowed me to use occasionally and only with his permission. I had zero say in the car he bought. It was used, came from my uncle's dealership at a good price, and had a decent safety rating. My kid will be offered the same deal and we will sit down and discuss these things ahead of time:
- Price: Let your teen know what your budget is. I recommend NOT giving them a sports car budget when you can really only afford a few thousand dollars. There is a high probability that your kid is going to put a few dings in the car so keep the price down.
- Safety: Make sure that your teen knows that safety is the most important thing when car shopping for teens. Cherry red with a kick butt speaker is nice but safety is your most important priority.
- Quality: Let's face it, some car models are just known for their reliability when it comes to maintenance. If you have a type of car that you will not even consider due to past experience, make sure your child knows that. Make a list of the top car models that you both agree on.
Capital One Auto Navigator Makes Shopping Easy
I highly recommend doing the majority of your car shopping online if possible, at least for the initial search. Teens can be argumentative and dramatic. No need to deal with that while a salesman stands there staring at you, right?
Capital One’s Auto Navigator site has created a car buying experience with a one-stop-shop for everything you need. You can find your teen's new car AND take care of the financing, all on one website from the comfort of your home. You can even do it from your mobile device! First, use the Capital One Auto Navigator site to find the perfect car for your teen. You can search over 12,000 dealerships’ inventory by make, model, price and more. Once you have found the car you and your teen agree with, find out in minutes if you pre-qualify for auto financing – with no risk to your credit score. Research your financing options by looking at different term lengths, prices, and vehicles. The Capital One Auto Navigator site will show you your estimated monthly payment and APR on cars you choose.
Capital One’s Auto Navigator makes the car buying experience easier to save you time and stress. Parents of new teen drivers have enough stress in their lives already, right? One of the best tips for car shopping that I came across was to do as much of it online from home rather than driving from dealer to dealer with a slightly irritating teen who just wants a red car with WiFi rather than something safe and reliable. Once you have narrowed down your choices from the Capital One’s Auto Navigator site, THEN you can head to the dealer to check it out in person and give it a test drive. Inventory is updated online daily so you can get a current listing of all available inventory!
The idea of my teen behind the wheel is actually rather terrifying. This is the kid who still trips over his own feet and manages to lose his shoes on a daily basis. How is he possibly going to navigate the Atlanta traffic and find his car in a huge parking lot? As much as I worry, becoming a teen driver is a rite of passage that most kids go through eventually. Car shopping for teens may not be a lot of fun but it has to be done eventually unless I want to be left without wheels myself on a regular basis.
Now, after we decide what type of car to get, I need to figure out how to help him keep it cleaner than his room is.....
Have any other tips for car shopping to share?
Check out the Capital One’s Auto Navigator and start shopping for your family's next car!
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.