Being a Parent

Should You Buy a Car For Your Child?

Learning to drive is a huge milestone for any young adult. Your child now has the ability to get behind the wheel and the freedom to go anywhere they want. This can be a scary thought for any parent, but one that comes with a great deal of pride and joy too.

As soon as they pass their test, your child is going to want a car to call their own. A vehicle in which they can drive to meet their friends or get to school without using public transport. But cars are expensive. Even for an adult with a stable job, a new vehicle can set you back financially. A teenager with limited funds and little financial sense is almost certainly going to need help from their parents.

But should you buy your child a car? Even if you have the means to afford it, there are arguments for and against such a gesture. Although you want to give your little one the best start in life, you don’t want them to become complacent or feel like things should be handed to them on a plate. Gifting a car is a move that should be thought through very carefully. 


Every adult’s parenting style is different, and there are no right or wrong answers. But the following points may give you food for thought that can help you make your decision.

The value of hard work

You could head down to your local car and truck dealership to buy your teenager whatever vehicle they desire, simply out of the goodness of your heart. But you would be missing an opportunity to teach them a valuable lesson. Money doesn’t grow on trees, and it’s important they learn that material possessions come from hard work. Consider encouraging your child to get a part-time job to help them pay for their first car. This will help them understand the value of money and endow with a sense of financial responsibility they will carry with them for the rest of their life.

Consider sharing your car

If the prospect of buying your child a brand new car is daunting, why not let them use your own one? You could ask them to pay a contribution towards maintenance, or ensure they fill up the tank after they use it. This saves your household money, while still affording your child a greater level of freedom and responsibility.

The responsibility of ownership

One great benefit of buying your child a car is the chance to give them an important lesson in being responsible. Once they own an expensive vehicle, they will have to look after it, drive safely, obey the rules of the road, and ensure they have enough money to keep it fuelled, insured, taxed, and serviced. They may make mistakes along the way, but it will turn them into more self-assured, confident, and sensible adults.

These are just a few of the things to consider when deciding whether or not to buy your child a car. There are clear pros and cons on both sides of the argument, and the final decision can only come down to you.