Buying their first car is a major milestone for teens. It provides real independence from their parents, allowing them to go to school or meet friends for a smoothie without needing to rely on someone else to get them there. However, buying a car is also an enormous responsibility. If your teen is planning to buy a car, here are four things that they need to know before they do so.

How Much It Will Cost

While they need to know how much the car itself will cost, they also need to consider all of the other financial aspects of car ownership. Are they paying for the car in full or will they be financing it and paying monthly? How much will insurance cost them? How much will gas cost? These smaller expenses are easily forgotten, but they can add up to a significant amount of money. Before buying a car, your teen needs to know how much they will be spending on their car each month, taking all of the expenses into consideration.

How to Perform Basic Maintenance

Before buying a car, your teen should know how to do simple things like filling the gas tank, changing a tire, and replacing their windshield wipers. Windshield wipers are taken for granted and have been since they were invented in 1903 when they started as small brushes moving up and down the windshield. Now they are essential to driving in poor weather, so if your teen can’t replace one, they might be in trouble. Make sure they can take care of simple issues while on the road. Then they’ll be able to take care of themselves if they get into a bad situation.

How to Research Cars Online

If your teen is looking for a car, they should be able to research their options online before they actually purchase one. Approximately 60% of car buyers research their options online at the beginning of the process and it can be extremely beneficial. With all of the information they need in front of them, they can find the best deals on the best car for them. Show your teen how to compare prices and features, as well and track down sellers for the car they want. Not only will this make it easier for them to find their ideal car, but it will also make them more confident in the purchasing process.

What To Do After an Accident

Accidents will happen. In fact, there are an average of 6 million car accidents in the United States each year. So chances are that your teen will get in an accident at some point. Someone might be distracted drinking a smoothie and crash into your teen. Or they might make a mistake behind the wheel. No matter what causes an accident, your teen needs to know what to do in this situation. Make sure they have all the insurance information, as well as the necessary contact information and steps to take. This will prevent them from panicking or making mistakes that could cause problems down the line.

Buying a car is an exciting and nerve-wracking time for your teen. You can help them to feel better about the process and be more confident behind the wheel. If they have these four things mastered, they’ll be able to handle a lot of the possible problems that might come up with car ownership. So take some time to go over them together. Make it part of the process to learn these things together over a smoothie. You will feel more confident about your teen being on the road and your teen will be better prepared and ready to make good choices when driving.