If we were to venture a guess, we would say that your very first automobile was a used model. You probably weren’t comparing new cars like the 2021 Nissan Altima vs 2021 Honda Accord. In all likelihood, it was a sedan, had a lot of miles, and wasn’t the best-looking car on the block by a longshot. But it did run, and it got you to school and all of the other places you needed to go. And it was your first car, so you were probably happy and grateful to have a mode of transportation. But now you are all grown up and have kids of your own who are getting to that age when they can drive.
You have been thinking about the situation and what you should do when the time comes that they need a vehicle of their own. Since your first car was used, you will probably find a nice pre-owned vehicle for your own teen. But here is the deal; it might make better sense to go ahead and buy them a new car. Sure, that used car is inexpensive, slow, and cheap to insure, but it will also come with a laundry list of issues. There are several good choices for a teen’s first car, including midsize models from reliable brands like Honda, Nissan, and Toyota.
It Validates Their Life
You don’t have to point out that teens sometimes make poor choices, complain when they have to help around the house, and don’t have any sense of making money and paying bills. But they do have feelings, and they are trying the best they can, for the most part. When they get an old clunker as a first car, they might feel they aren’t important enough or mature enough for something new and nice.
You can’t argue their disdain, and their feelings are real and should not be ignored. However, buying your teen a new car sends a message that you trust them and that you understand they are doing the best they can in life. You might also be surprised when they start working harder and being better at helping around the house. It could happen.
Sedans like the Nissan Altima are a good choice for a teen’s first car because it does quite well on gas mileage. Even though it is not a hybrid, it still manages to garner nearly 30 miles to the gallon in the city and almost 40 miles to the gallon on the highway. This ensures that your teen won’t be asking you for gas money every Friday night.
Teaching About Money and Responsibility
Having a car, new or used, will teach your teen the value of money as they will have to maintain their ride. But having to maintain a used car can be quite frustrating and expensive, and it could leave your teen with a sense of defeat. Sometimes, when teaching life lessons to your kids, it’s important to take baby steps. On the other hand, a new car is pretty easy to maintain; all you really have to do is take it in for routine maintenance. This is still a big responsibility, but totally doable for the younger people who are inexperienced with this sort of thing.
Having a car also means you need to be financially responsible. Your teen will learn to budget for gas money, maintenance, and all of the other expenses that come with a vehicle. However, a used car can suffer an expensive breakdown that could wipe out any money your teen may have saved. While we understand that this is all part of what we call life, sometimes it is still better to shield your kids from the harsh reality. A new car is under warranty, so if anything significant happens, it’s probably covered. This, in itself, is an important life lesson; car warranties will make you sleep better at night.
All new cars from Nissan, Honda, and Toyota are covered by a limited three-year/36,000-mile warranty as well as a five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty on the powertrain. There are also extended protection plans and prepaid maintenance agreements should you be interested. This means that your new driver will likely still have some warranty coverage when they graduate college!
Reliability and Safety
You know we were going to get to this eventually. We understand that modern cars will last a lot longer than their predecessors, but they are still somewhat less reliable than a brand new car. Even with wonderful tools like CARFAX and other vehicle history reports that will tell you everything you need to know about a used car, you still never know when a problem might occur.
We are quite sure you will sleep better at night knowing that your son or daughter is driving a new sedan like the Nissan Altima, which has proven to be a very reliable car over the years. Nissan has really focused on including a huge number of standard safety features, and you will also feel better about having your teen drive around the city in a vehicle that includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Lane-Departure Warning. The 2021 Altima is also an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ and boasts a class-exclusive Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, which is not available even in other top models like the Honda Accord.
The 2021 Altima also offers available Intelligent All-Wheel Drive that continuously monitors the road conditions and will automatically adjust the power between the front wheels and rear wheels as needed. There are only a handful of sedans that offer this life-saving feature, and that short list surprisingly doesn’t include the Honda Accord. That’s not to say front-wheel drive only cars like the Accord are not a safe choice; they just don’t provide the same all-weather handling of an all-wheel drive vehicle.
They Will Be Thrilled
Can you imagine how it would have felt if your parents had given you a set of keys to a brand new Altima when you were a teen? The sheer look of joy on a teen’s face when getting a brand new car is priceless. What is even better is that modern cars like the Altima, Accord, and Camry are stylish-looking rides with a sleek design, aggressive-looking grille, and many premium features. They really don’t even look like the class of vehicle as a used sedan, and they will stand out in a crowd. When you are a teenager, it is vital that the car you drive is as unique as you are.
Most teenagers are ready to take on the world and are eager for new privileges and freedom. Buying them a new car will give them the freedom they desire, and driving their very own vehicle is a huge privilege as well as a big responsibility. While you might be reluctant and hesitant when it comes to buying them a new sedan, deep down, you know you can’t keep them stuck at home forever. But should you decide to buy your teen a new car, take them with you to the dealership so they can learn an important lesson about being an adult. When they drive off the lot in their new Altima, you will know you did the right thing. And you will feel good about yourself for choosing a safe and reliable vehicle for your son or daughter.