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What To Teach Your Kid About Their First Car

Picturing your teen behind the wheel of a car can be nothing short of  panic-inducing. And while that anxiety may never really go away, (even when your kids are in their 30s) you can take steps to at least make sure you don’t end up breathing into a paper bag on a daily basis.
The key is making sure both you and your teen are absolutely prepared when they are ready to hop behind the wheel. Here are a few of the things you’ll want to cover to make sure you teen is ready for the road.

Help Choose the Right Car
When shopping for a car, safety should be the first priority. Whether your teen will be driving a new or used vehicle, make sure it has plenty of safety features: seat belts and airbags are a must while anti-lock brakes are a definite plus. Certain mechanical problems can also cause a dangerous situation, so be sure the car you choose is in tip-top shape. As a parent, you may want to familiarize yourself with the car owners manual to make sure the car has all the features you need.
Proper Driving Education
It isn’t a necessity, but putting your teen in driving classes will help make sure they are ready to operate a vehicle safely. When you are driving with your teen in the car, be sure to make observations and point out the safety measures you take every time you get behind the wheel. Leading by example is among the most effective ways to keep your teen safe when they are ready to get behind the wheel.

Proper Maintenance Lessons
Many teens are unaware just how maintenance intensive owning a car can be. To make sure their car is safe and running smoothly, make sure your teen knows the importance of a proper maintenance schedule. If you aren’t sure what that schedule is, break out the original car owners manual and have a look. Staying up on oil changes will keep the car running properly while keeping tires inflated will save your teen (and you) money by maximizing fuel efficiency. Maintenance is an important lesson to teach your teen for safety reasons and to protect the car as an investment.
Economic Responsibility
Your teen may not realize that owning a car is a balancing act and requires a certain amount of financial responsibility. Gas, tires and maintenance are just a small sample of the many expenses that come with owning a vehicle. Your teen should know that certain sacrifices need to be made in order to keep their car on the road. Making your teen pay at least a portion of the insurance and maintenance costs is an excellent way to teach them about the financial responsibility of not only owning a car, but becoming an adult.
Ben Norris is a freelance writer and former teen driver living in Phoenix, AZ.