New Car For Teen?

Kids grow up so fast, don’t they? Jack is just two years off finishing her degree, and Jamie will have finished high school in mere months! Speaking of which, it’s time to start thinking about his 18th birthday present.

Melissa has pointed out a small problem, though, and I’m inclined to agree. You see, when Jack turned 18, we bought her a brand new hybrid car, with the thought in mind that we’d do the same for Jamie. Well, of course, Jack immediately put a dent in the car, then proceeded to skip its annual service for two years running – all the while racking up an insane amount of kilometres driving her friends to interstate music festivals.

That’s all fine, but it does amount to a whole lot of wear and tear on what is, essentially, a depreciating asset, and we can’t help but feel the money could have been better spent. The problem? We need to decide if we’re going to buy Jamie a new car, as promised several years back.

Truly, I don’t believe he’s any more likely than Jack to keep up with car servicing. Northcote, where he plans to live, isn’t exactly a hard place in which to find a competitively priced garage, but somehow it still seems unlikely that he’ll bother using one. I also can’t see him being particularly diligent about not slowly trash the car over its first year.

It’s seeming pretty clear that teenagers should be given second-hand cars only, if they’re to be given cars at all. It’s just that buying one new avoids all those boring hassles like arranging RACV inspections and making sure there’s a current roadworthy certificate. Northcote parents, help a guy out. What are you thoughts on all this?

The main issue, really, is that Melissa and I will feel bad if we don’t give the kids exactly the same treatment. I know they both should be grateful for any kind of car we arrange for them, and they shouldn’t even expect a car in the first place. It’s clearly an extravagant gift. We did promise, though…