Tips on buying a car for your teen - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Tips on buying a car for your teen

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

Where do you start when looking for a car for your older teens? They might be going off to college in the fall or just need a ride to their summer job.

Most parents are experienced car buyers. They basically know what they're doing. But when they have a persuasive teen hanging onto their arm at the dealership, it's possible they could get weak and buy a car that is out of their price range. So, what can you do?

Buying a car is exciting no matter how old you are. But for teens getting their first car, it's something special.

"Buying a car is so emotional.  You open up the door to the car.  You smell the new car smell, you're gone; you're in heaven," said Tywone Thomas.

Thomas is a car buying advisor who works with credit unions to get people into automobiles.  He has a book that lists the 10 mistakes to avoid when you buy a teen a car.

He says before you shop, stop at the kitchen table.  You need to let your teen know how much you are willing to pay so there is no begging for something better at the dealership.

"You bump into that car with leather, that's outside of the pricing parameters. All of the sudden it brings us back.  You can remind Sara, 'Do you remember? We talked about...these are the parameters. These are the expectations. This is what we need to stick with,'" said Thomas.

Parents should not shop without pre-approval. Have your loan secure since it makes you look like a cash buyer to the salesman.

"If you're financing a vehicle, get pre-approved first. That can eliminate countless hours at a dealership," said Thomas.

Don't accept the first offer, he says. Shop around for your teen's car. If it's a used car, get a vehicle history report.  Find out the dealer's invoice price.  The manufacturer's recommended retail price, usually in bold print on the sticker, is not the lower, invoice price.

When many of us got our first car it was used. That's just how it was done. Today, with the cash for clunkers rebate mixed with a bad economy, the best deal might be a new car.  A new car, if you can afford it, gives you peace of mind.

"If your student is going off maybe four or five hours away, do you want them calling you every time the car breaks down?" asked Thomas.

Don't pay more than $15,000 - $20,000 for a teenager's first car. Whatever you are willing to spend, don't compromise safety.

"It really doesn't matter what your economical background may be but I think safety, mileage per gallon, and reliability of the car makes a difference," Thomas said.

To obtain a free copy of the book, click here.

  • I-Team Story ArchiveMore>>

  • Credit Cards v Charge Cards

    Credit Cards v Charge Cards

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 7:48 AM EDT2014-07-23 11:48:23 GMT
    You always hear that it's a great idea to get rid of your credit cards, but sometimes it really is the best way to pay. So here's another option: charge cards.
    You always hear that it's a great idea to get rid of your credit cards, but sometimes it really is the best way to pay. So here's another option: charge cards.
  • FOX 5 I-Team Investigates

    Child traumatically injured in beach house elevator

    Child traumatically injured in beach house elevator

    Monday, July 21 2014 8:09 AM EDT2014-07-21 12:09:54 GMT
    Another child has been seriously injured in a residential elevator accident. This is a warning for any family renting a beach house.
    Another child has been seriously injured in a residential elevator accident. This is a warning for any family renting a beach house.
  • Governor reacts to Ethics allegations

    Governor reacts to Ethics allegations

    Friday, July 18 2014 6:40 PM EDT2014-07-18 22:40:07 GMT
    The Governor sat down with Senior Fox 5 I-Team Reporter Dale Russell for his first television interview following allegations of strong-arming by a member of his staff.
    The Governor sat down with Senior Fox 5 I-Team Reporter Dale Russell for his first television interview following allegations of strong-arming by a member of his staff.
  • Contact the FOX 5 I-Team

    * denotes required fields

    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for contacting FOX 5.  To reach our newsroom by phone, please call (404) 898-0100.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • FOX 5 Sports Exclusive

    Ron Gant and Bobby Cox talk Cooperstown

    Ron Gant and Bobby Cox talk Cooperstown

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:57 AM EDT2014-07-24 12:57:42 GMT
    We're coming up on a big weekend for baseball -- and especially for a some Atlanta Braves legends. Former Braves pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux are being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame-- along with former Braves skipper Bobby Cox.
    We're coming up on a big weekend for baseball -- and especially for a some Atlanta Braves legends. Former Braves pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux are being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame-- along with former Braves skipper Bobby Cox.
  • Support for DeKalb's oldest living retired firefighter

    Support for DeKalb's oldest living retired firefighter

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:53 AM EDT2014-07-24 11:53:29 GMT
    Douglas Marks was a DeKalb County firefighter for 25 years...saving lives and protecting homes. Now, at age 82, Marks needs a little help himself. And his fellow firefighters...are stepping up.
    Douglas Marks was a DeKalb County firefighter for 25 years...saving lives and protecting homes. Now, at age 82, Marks needs a little help himself. And his fellow firefighters...are stepping up.
Powered by WorldNow

1551 Briarcliff Rd., NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

Main Number: (404) 875-5555
News Tips: (404) 898-0100

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices
.