April 8, 2015 There comes a point in a young student’s life when they will need a vehicle. It’s part of growing up and achieving independence, but as a parent, it’s important to make sure that the teenager is purchasing a reliable vehicle that he or she can afford. Calculate every expenses to find out the budget that you have to purchase a second hand car. 1. The Budget Whether you’ll be purchasing the used vehicle for your student or they will be making the purchase and monthly payments themselves, you’ll need to figure out the overall budget. Most students don’t have unlimited funds for a used car. The second hand car for sale should fit within that budget. The target budget should include a down payment and monthly installments if you are taking out a loan for your teenager. The budget should include monthly costs like gas, oil changes and tyre changes. Insurance costs can be hefty for new drivers. That should factor into the monthly budget too. 2. Research Once the budget is set, it’s time to do your research. The vehicle you choose should be based on a list of criteria. If the teen will use the car through high school into college, it should be a reliable vehicle that has a history of providing years of service to its drivers. Even if the teen begs and pleads for a flashy car, it might not be a good choice. A reliable vehicle will have less maintenance and repair costs in the long run as well. 3. Service History Records Every vehicle should have a record of its history. This should include a recent maintenance report. If it doesn’t have recent records, that’s no reason to walk away from the vehicle though. When you’ve decided on a vehicle, you can take it to your own garage for your mechanic to test. Many second hand cars for sale will have records that will include major work done on the vehicle too. Test drive the vehicle to find out whether it suitable for you before purchasing it. 4. Test Drive Never buy a vehicle without taking it for a test drive. You should inspect the outside of the car for flaws, rust and dents. A dented car doesn’t have to be a deal breaker, but you’ll want to check for flaws that might indicate serious body work from an accident. Check the tyres to be sure the tread is wearing evenly. Uneven wear can indicate an alignment problem. As you take it for the test drive, notice the responsiveness of the brakes, the ease of steering and the smoothness of the ride. This is the time to address any problems. Talk to the dealer about what you find. You’ll have to pay for a mechanic so be sure that this is the car you want before taking it over to the garage. Remember safety always come first! 5. Safety Rules No matter what kind of second hand car your student purchases, you’ll need to impress upon him or her that there are safety rules you expect on the road. New drivers shouldn’t be talking on their cell phones or texting while driving. Limit the amount of friends in the vehicle to avoid distracted driving. In bad weather, students should be extra careful and leave more than a car’s length between them and other vehicles on the road. Seatbelt use should also be non-negotiable. It’s important for your student to observe all driving rules and regulations, and in the long run, a safe driving record will reduce the costs of insurance each month. With research and time, you can find a second hand car for sale that will be acceptable to your teen and have all the safety features and reliability that you want for your student driver.