Your teen is about to take the next step in growing up by receiving her driver's license, which means she'll probably want a car of her own. Instead of taking your teen shopping for her first car, consider surprising her with one instead. Not only will she have wheels and more independence, she'll also have a birthday memory she'll never forget.
Instead of gifting your teenager with the actual car up front, give him a gift that offers clues. You might wrap a key chain, steering wheel cover or vanity license plate cover and give that to your child as a gift. Once your teen opens the gift and receives the clue, you can reveal the car that you've bought him. Nothing says that you have to give the gift on the day your teen turns 16, however. According to the Family Education website, you should hold off until you're positive your teen is responsible enough to handle having his own wheels. Once you're sure about that, you can enjoy the expression of joy on your teen's face when he realizes what the clue really means.
Create a scavenger hunt that leads your teen to the new car. Hold off on providing clues that you're leading your teen to a car, however, so the surprise is genuine and unexpected. Write generic clues that lead your teen to places such as the library, grocery store or ice cream parlor. The last clue should lead him to the place where you've parked his new car. You could also provide clues that lead him to a car dealership, where he can help you pick out his first set of wheels. If that's your ultimate scavenger hunt decision, choose a car dealership that has a good reputation for selling the safest cars. According to the Consumer Reports website, you should give your teen the safest car you can afford.
Don't delay the surprise and get right to the leaps of joy and shrieks of excitement by parking your teen's new car in the garage or the driveway. This takes planning so your teen doesn't catch you in the act. Perhaps you could bring the car home while your child is at school or participating in extracurricular events. You might even park the car around the block and then wait until your teen is in bed to park it in the driveway. Imagine the surprise when your teen wakes up in the morning and discovers the gift waiting for him.
Selecting a Car for Your Teen
You want to buy your teen the safest car possible and one he won't be embarrassed to drive. To that end, Consumer Reports cautions parents to buy their teen a car with antilock brakes. Consider the number and placement of airbags, too, because the more airbags a car has, the safer your teen is likely to be in the event of a crash. Keep in mind that larger cars tend to be a bit safer too, according to Consumer Reports. Before handing over the keys, remind your teen of the rules of the road such as adhering to speed limits and not texting while driving.