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Top Tips for First Time Car Buyers

It's that time of the year again…back to school. We all hear about the deals for back to school products in radio and TV ads, along with seeing the large displays in our favorite grocery store. But something is different for your child this year, they have a driver's license! These next few tips will help insure that Jr. is able to safely make it to school on time with no worries of breakdowns or breaking the bank.

1. Affordability – This will be a large factor on what car any new driver will consider when getting that first ride. If there is no hand-me-down vehicle in the family, you will want to make sure to get your teen a quality used vehicle. A new car loses almost half its value in the first five years - this is especially true if it is owned by a young driver. Since this is a vehicle for someone who is still learning you are going to want to make sure that you are comfortable with having a few dings and scratches put on it as well. Establish a budget that both you and your child are comfortable with.

2. Be Prepared – Now that you have a budget in mind come up with a list of vehicles that fall within this price range. Make sure you are looking at reviews for reliability, safety and fuel economy. It also helps to work with your teen to make sure the vehicles you look at are not going to make them dread showing up to school because they “wouldn't be caught dead” in the vehicle.

3. Test Drives and Inspections – You are ready to take your child out to test drive some options to find the best fit. Make sure to have a check list of questions to ask the previous owner/dealer and things to inspect on the car. This should include things like the service history, any accidents the vehicle was in, and looking for oil drips or rust.

4. Negotiation - Make sure you use sites that are designed to help the consumer with vehicle history such as Car Fax. You should also have your child research vehicle pricing on sites like Kelley Blue Book and Auto Trader. This, combined with the knowledge gained from the Inspection and test drive stage, will give you a better feel for the car. Now is also the point in time to help your teen with price negotiation on a large purchase. You should encourage them to be confident and step in if necessary to make sure they are getting the best price.

5. Insurance - Congratulations, your teen bought their first car! Now that you have it make sure you have the appropriate insurance for it. The vehicle needs to be titled in both the teen's and parent's names. Many insurance companies require this for accurate coverage on the auto policy. Let's refer back to the previous topics: Affordability - your teen will have a higher premium then an older, more experienced driver. According to the CDC drivers ages 15-24 make up only 14% of the U.S. population but account for about 29% of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries. With this in mind you make sure you get adequate coverage for both your teen and those around them. This can be done with increased liability, comprehensive, and collision limits.

Now your teen is prepared to hit the road and has gained a little life experience! To get more in-depth information or find the best solutions for your particular situation, call your friends in the insurance business at Ieuter insurance group today!