There is nothing more exciting than getting your first car. Strangely we donít really care what we drive for the first few years of our driving career Ė although we may complain on principle. Itís enough to have keys that jingle and the freedom to leave whenever the urge hits Ė although we might have to ask permission first. If youíre getting ready for your very first car, consider a few tips from those of us who have been there and done that.
Donít Sweat the Make or Style
Itís a car with four wheels that runs. You donít need to worry too much about what kind of car it is and how much it cost. Sure weíd all love to cruise around in a $50,000 convertible, and there are probably kids who do just that, but in the real world where most of us live, our first car is really our parentsí car. You might get lucky and have a cool vehicle to drive, or you might be like the rest of us and cruise around in the minivan or the giant, run-down SUV. Whatever you drive, just be grateful that your parents are letting you have a chance to hold the keys every now and again. If youíre lucky enough to get a car of your very own, be forever thankful Ė there are plenty of envious teens out there who wish they had the same opportunity.
Own Up, Pay Up
When you have your own car, or your own permission to drive the family car, you might be expected to pony up for the cost of your insurance or for gas. Both are much more expensive that you can imagine usually, and driving is a privilege, not a right. This means that your parents are giving you a huge gift if youíre not required to pay for your own insurance or gas, and you should never look a gift horse in the mouth. And if you do have to pay for your own way on the car, just know that youíre getting a nice lesson in responsibility early on that will help shape and define you as you grow a bit older and wiser.
Cars Arenít Toys
Why do we think that cars are just an extension of our toy collection from childhood? Growing up you might have had a race track. Guess what? A car isnít an opportunity to race around on the real roads. When you sit behind the wheel of a car, youíre driving thousands of pounds of metal that can, and will, easily kill someone if you make a mistake or a false turn. Take driving seriously Ė if you drink and drive or allow a friend to drink and drive, you could be one step closer to taking someoneís life. If you race down the road, especially when itís dark and you think nobody is around, youíre risking your life and the lives of those around you. Please donít ever drive your car as if itís a toy, and if you find yourself riding with someone who does, donít allow him or her to do so either.