Sep 8th, 2007 by Frank Mangano
So I have three kids all between 18 and 21. If you have one in this age group, multiply your daily issues times three and you can see what my daily life is like. Calls, e-mails, text messages, conversations, all about what they need and want. No bigger discussion is the topic of cars. At first we purchased each kid an older used car, just like my parents did for me. You know, learn to appreciate it and care for it before you have something better. I had a Chevrolet Nova, I thought I had it all, well I had freedom anyway. But unlike the reliable old Chevy, my kids luck has not been as good. My two sons did ok, an older Acura Integra and Ford Ranger. They had the usual needs of tires, brakes, tune-ups, plus a few other items. The Ranger is still ticking, the Integra is gone, replaced by a new Mazda 3 and new car payments. But my daughter, also my oldest and in her last year of college, has an old Volkswagen Beetle (her choice, I suggest Honda, Toyota and more reliable models). Well, as things would have it that car has eaten up more money than my other two sons have in groceries. So, the VW is about dead and she needs another car. First thought, a new car, thoughts of a shiny new car to drive in would jump into anyones mind. Then comes reality and car payments, so that thought died quickly. So which used car is now on the top of her mind, you got it, Honda, Toyota, and good gas mileage cars that last. You knew this would happen, but kids now look “to be like Mike” and no longer are happy they just have “freedom” to go anywhere. I’m just thankful as my kids get older they appear to be learning life lessons. Life is expensive for kids these days, I’ll admit it, bad car decisions are the last thing they need.
So, what would you have done, would you just bite the bullet and research a new car for your kids for there first car or buy a used car like you had and pay for repairs?