What to Teach Your Children About the Expenses of Driving

As a parent, you're in a great position to teach your children about the costs that go along with car ownership. Your conversations with them can give them a realistic view of what to expect when they own a vehicle. Here are some things you should talk with your child about before they start learning to drive.


There are obvious costs of driving a car, such as buying gas. But, be sure to also talk to your children about the hidden costs of maintaining a car, like car repairs, tire replacements, brake jobs and oil changes. Some repairs are anticipated, but some are caused by unexpected events. There are several different types of car accidents that can bring unexpected costs, so it’s important to teach your children to be prepared in the event this happens. An incident may be the fault of only one driver or two or more. Sometimes, a crash event involves damage to cars only, while other accidents also create medical expenses. Different types of car accidents will be treated in different ways by car insurance companies, and some can result in increased car insurance costs.

Purchasing a Car

Buying a car is an important event. Many young people save money to buy a car with cash, whereas others take on payment plans. Sometimes a parent or grandparent contributes money for the purchase of the car. Talk about the car budget and whether you'll be helping to pay for it. Some other costs to consider at purchase time include registration and title fees, the license plate cost, sales taxes and property taxes. Your child will also need items like tire-changing tools and ice-scrapers, depending on the weather where you live.

Car Insurance

Car insurance is a legal requirement. Every driver needs liability insurance, and most people prefer to have more comprehensive coverage. Your insurance agent can discuss options for you and your teen, based on the car and the budget. Many car insurance companies also offer roadside assistance options for a fee, but many drivers opt to join an auto club for roadside assistance and vehicle towing.

The information you share with your children about car ownership will be valuable to them. Talk to your kids about vehicle safety and car accident statistics. Being injured or killed in a car accident is unthinkable, and it's vital that young drivers are aware and extremely careful with their new responsibilities. Take advantage of teachable moments now so that your teens will be ready to rise to the challenge when it's time for them to take on the expenses of driving.


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