Helping your Teen Buy a Car

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This post was written by me through an activation with HireInfluence on behalf of Autotrader. Although I received compensation for participating in the campaign, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

When it comes to buying a car for your teen, how will you split the responsibilities?

looking for a teen car

My husband and I grew up differently when it came to how we got our first car. I didn’t have a car at all when I was in high school. My friends did, but I never felt I needed one. I had parents and friends willing to chauffeur me around! Even in college, I didn’t feel the need. It wasn’t until the year before I graduated college, when I was 21, that my parents gifted me my first car, a pre-owned Honda Accord we found on a lot near my parents home. Oh, how I loved that car.

buying my first car

A year and a half later, I was married and bringing home my first baby in that car. I was very grateful for my parents generosity (and even felt a twinge of guilt admitting to my husband that they bought it for me).

In contrast, when my husband was growing up, he worked hard for, and purchased his first car with his own money. He went to an auction, and picked it out himself. This was the 90’s, friends!

Fast forward 20-something years, and we have a teenager looking for his first car!

My husband and I had been talking for a few years about our thoughts with having a teenage driver…and his own wheels.

We both felt strongly that we weren’t just going to gift him a car as a 16 year old.

We told him at least a year or two in advance that we’d match half the cost of a car, but he needed to earn the other half. I’m not sure he thought we were serious, but we reiterated over an over that that was the case. He worked hard, and earned quite a good pocket of change.buying your first car

When it was time to find a car for him, we used Autotrader as we had in the past with our own cars. The ease of putting in our search criteria on the website is just immeasurable.

buying your first car


Now, we’ve got a second son who is looking, and since we used Autotrader last summer to now, so many things have changed. The all new Autotrader has a new responsive design that provides basically the same experience across all 3 platforms–mobile, desktop, and tablet. The new look & feel is easier to navigate, more organized, less cluttered.

On the website, they have updated the search algorithm itself to bolster search relevance – meaning smarter results more inclined to match what you are looking for.

Aside from the look and ease, it has a much faster performance than the previous platform with smarter search results. I don’t know about you, but I’m a fan of SPEED when it comes to searching the internet for anything!

I feel comfortable letting my son search around, to look on his own. The search makes it easy for all ages to peruse the cars. It’s definitely the next generation of car shopping, no need to walk around to car lots like I did with my dad.  Also, now that Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor is available on Autotrader’s website, we know the price is fair before we even visit the dealership. WIN-WIN!

I am convinced that if you are looking for a car and you can’t find your next car on Autotrader, you won’t find it anywhere.

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