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Most seventeen year old’s won’t be lucky enough for their parents to buy them a car, so will either have to save up themselves or take out a loan on finance. Nevertheless, no matter what method they’re using, it’s a big moment in their life!

Your child’s first car will stay with you as a major milestone in your life and theirs. Choose wisely and know the costs both before and after purchase. It will help your child set the right budget. Consider getting the family to save together, or to gift, towards this very important milestone.

Set a budget

The first step in the journey to buying a car is to set a budget. Agree the budget with your child. Although you may find a car for slightly under or over your price, it’s vital you set a target. That way, both of you know roughly what you’re aiming for. You must also consider all the fees and costs that come with buying and running a car in day-to-day life and include that in your budget too.

If you’d like a cheap, affordable and simple vehicle that’s good enough to get to and from work, budget about 10 to 15 per cent of your annual income.

To run a car, the budget should include costs like car insurance, MOT tests, road tax, replacement tyres and petrol. There may be more costs if repairs are needed for cracked windscreens and mirrors, so these unexpected fees for maintenance should definitely be considered too. Check out the Money Advice Service for helpful details.

Choosing a Car

Next comes the more difficult part – finding the perfect car that they love and one that you feel comfortable with them driving. You should have already considered the brand and model, but then you must start considering what features they’ll want too. There are so many new specifications and nifty new features that they may now want in your car, like built-in 4G Wi-Fi so they can stay connected wherever they go.

There are also installed cameras that allow drivers to see everything around the car, instead of just what’s behind. You can even get self-cleaning windows, built-in vacuum cleaners, and seats designed specifically to prevent fatigue and the feelings of tiredness caused by long car journeys. But does a seventeen-year-old really need these gadgets?

Next, you have to decide whether you’re purchasing a brand-new vehicle or buying a second-hand car. There are lots of options to buy a used vehicle, for a lot less of a cost than a car from a showroom. There are lots of online places to browse through like GumTree and Cazoo with easy options to research cars priced at a good value.

Checking the Car

After you’ve chosen the car together, it’s time to see or test it out. Check out the car in person before you purchase anything online and look for any visual damage or impairments to the vehicle. A car dealer will have all the legitimate documents to sell you a car, whereas a private seller may be more misleading. It’s important to double check all information before purchasing.

Be sure to check out Offspring  if you’re saving for your child’s first car. Offspring helps family and friends to contribute towards that great experience of car ownership. It is a good way to focus gifts on things your children really need or want. Find out more about Offspring works by reading up on it here.