Teenage boy wants a car...and a loan.

@foxyfire33 (10017)
United States
April 22, 2007 7:58pm CST
My s/o's almost 17 year old, unemployed, son just asked me if we would take out a loan or co-sign a loan so he could get the car he wants. Now I don't have a huge problem with him getting a car, IF he also got a job to at least help pay for insurance. But no, that's not what he wants. He wants to buy a $2200 car, right now, and he'll pay us back "when he can". But he can't get a job yet because he's "too busy" on weekends, won't have his driver's license until the end of June at the soonest, and isn't sure where he's spending most of the summer. So basically he's just asking us to buy the car for him with no real plans on paying us back or paying for anything else that goes with owning a car. I have a problem with that. When I was turned 17, and had already been driving for almost 8 months, my parents did buy me a car. It was $300. And I got a job a month later (I would have sooner but the car died 2 days after I got it and didn't get fixed until then) I paid for my own gas and a lot of other things. Somehow my parents insurance ended up cheaper because of the discounts with an extra car so they didn't worry about that. But even so I always thought that a teenager shouldn't get a car unless they are willing to actually help with expenses. Especially if they know the parents are strapped as it is. We have a savings account so we probably could afford to buy it but that's a lot of money that we already had plans for. And I have no idea how we'd pay for insurance and give him gas money to run around if he's not working. I told him I'd talk to his dad but I really didn't think we could help him out. Is it wrong of me to say no to this? Did any of you buy your kids a car or had one bought for you as a teenager? What kind of guidelines did you follow? And does anyone here think $2200 is a lot of money to spend on a kid's first car?...especially considering a year ago we had to replace our daily drivers and only spent a total of $3300 for all three?
8 people like this
31 responses
@jennysp8 (855)
• United States
23 Apr 07
Don't do it! First off, you will never see that money. I put my own money on that bet! :-). And besides the money (because for some that may not be an issue), it's not teaching a 17 yr old to work for what he wants. He is about to hit adult hood and seems like he lacks the understanding of responsibilty and working for what you want and need. If he wants a car - he better pay for it himself. He needs to work. Period. You would be doing him more injustice by buying it for him. Now, with that said, my parents did buy me my first car for $500 (really ugly thing) and I had to pay it back right away but I already was working. More or less they were tired of driving me to and from work. Also, at that age, he is likly to get into some render benders (it happens) and he is less likely to respect the car. He would drive better and take better care of the car if you worked and paid for it himself. Don't do it!! From one mother to another - I beg you! :-) The most I would do if I were you is help him with a $500-$800 car as long as he is working and pays the car insurance and provide his own gas money. If he won't do that - then he doesn't want the car. Oh, and I don't know what state your in but where I'm at - until your 18 - the car has to be in the parents name and in their insurance. Your insurance - your rules - even if he's paying his part. Car in by any time you wish and if he fails to pay even one months bill - car is off limits until he makes up the past due insurance that you would have paid for. Another thought. Something alot of other people do. Half and half. He saves up half - and you'll match. This way he can get a better car and is working for it. But you were able to help. Good luck!
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
23 Apr 07
Everything you said is just what I was thinking. Those were good guidelines for if he does get a car and is under our insurance. I'm not really sure what the laws here are though. I remember my ex-hubby's parents made him get his own insurance and he was only 16 at the time but that was 12 years ago and I know a lot has changed. I don't even mind a half and half deal IF I could trust him to be responsible. Anyway thanks for the reassurance and suggestions!
4 people like this
@mrbranan (1012)
• United States
23 Apr 07
I agee with you. I think it will teach him responsibility. That is a good thing and I say good for you if you make him help with the expenceses.
@kelly60 (4550)
• United States
23 Apr 07
There is no way that I would loan him money if he were not willing to get a job. I would not even consider paying that much for his first car unless he was willing to come up with at least half, along with the insurance and other expenses, but if he is not willing to get a job, you know that is not going to happen either. If he wants a car, he needs to learn the responsibilities that go along with it. Part of these responsibilities include having a job so that he can afford to pay for the things that he wants rather than asking for money that he has no way to pay back.
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
23 Apr 07
I'm totally against it too. I don't even think he deserves for us to put up $500 with the way everything has been lately. As far as I'm concerned he has a LOT of growing up to do before he gets a car AND only if he manages to pass his grade this year which is highly unlikely since the year is almost over and he was still failing all but one class on his last report card in mid-March. I talked to his dad about it. I told him about the car and him wanting a loan and how I told him I didn't think we could do it. He (my s/o) said he'd talk to him later about it. I have no idea what that means. He can be a push over on the stupidest things so now I'm a little worried he's actually going to try to work something out. I think there will be a lot of heated discussions this week if that's what he's thinking!
3 people like this
• United States
23 Apr 07
The most important thing, foxyfire is that you and your s/o keep a united front. My mom and dad always discussed and dad never went against the discision that was made between the two of them. There discussions were never done in front of us kids so that they could discuss openly the pros and cons. And us kids used to and found out quickly it didn't work is we would go to mom and if we didn't like the answer we got from her on a question about going and doing something we would go to dad. Dad would always say go ask your mom and what she says that is the answer. We quickly learned that we couldn't play them that way because they would not allow it. They stuck together on their discisions.
2 people like this
@callarse1 (4796)
• United States
23 Apr 07
Some parents buy their children a car, some parents don't. I really think the decision is up to you. However, I think he needs to get a job so he can earn his car. My parents didn't buy me a car, and I know other parents who didn't. It just depends on what you believe. Perhaps you think he should have one, but if you don't want to buy him one then don't. If you buy him one, you shouldn't plan on him paying you back. When he says "I'll pay you back when I can" than means he is not going to pay you back. If you THINK he should pay you back, then you need to tell him to get a job to pay for the car. Have him save up the money and then he can buy the car himself, how does that sound? I believe that is far. Have a nice day. Pablo
3 people like this
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
23 Apr 07
That's what I think too...IF he's going to get a job then he will need a car but he has no plans to do that. I told him I'd talk to his dad but didn't think we could do a loan and told him he would have to start saving. That's when he went off about how he needs the money NOW or else someone else will buy the car. My opinion is "Too bad"
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Apr 07
You are not wrong to say no. If he is not willing to get a job he doesn't deserve a car. You don't owe him a car. That is not part of your responsibility. I was never bought a car and my parents didn't feel obligated to buy me one either. They always said that a car is something that one earns to be able to get one. A teenager needs to show her that they are responsible people. She never co-signed either. That is way to much to pay for a first car for a teenager. For a teenager to appreciate having a car they need to earn the money to help pay for it. So just hold your ground and even though he may be upset with you he'll get over it.
3 people like this
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
23 Apr 07
Thanks for the reassurance, I totally agree, we don't owe this to him. It'd be one thing if he was responsible in other ways too but he isn't. He's used to being upset with us LOL, typical parents, never giving in just because he says so.
4 people like this
• Malaysia
23 Apr 07
wow.. i totally disagree with your son.. he shouldn't have asked you to sign a loan so he could get a car.. that's what i call selfishness.. a loan is not a small thing... many people have financial problems because they are not aware of what loans they're taking.. some loans are useful.. and some are not.. buying a car if totally not worth it. .especially when he's using it for some other purposes.. instead of using it for his job.. you do get what i mean right? erm..my mum bought me a car.. but i never misuse it.. i pay for the oil as i think i'm using it.. not my mother.. so..it's not easy to handle a car.. do make sure he knows what is he doing =)
2 people like this
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
23 Apr 07
I think it's totally selfish too. He knows we're barely getting by as it is. I also don't think he has a clue about all the expenses besides the payment for it. I also don't think it'll last long. He's not mature nough to be careful with it. No point in him having something nice if he'll destroy it before a loan could be paid off even if we could get a loan for it.
1 person likes this
@tinamwhite (3255)
• United States
23 Apr 07
Foxyfire, my friend.....I would not even discuss helping him with a car until he steps up and shows some innitive to better himself instead of standing in your face with his hand out and lame excuses about "being too busy"....how is that possible if he is not holding down a job? Does he think that you have a "money tree" grwoing in the backyard??? If so, can I come help you at "harvest time"???? LMAO I also think that $2200 is alot of money for a first car... In reality, although he will be upset....he wants something for nothing and no effort either....but you are not doing him a favor if you "give" him this OR if you get it for him with empty promises of repayment and no plan on how to provide the necessary things that come with the responsibility of "owning a car"..... My parents did not buy me a car or help me buy a car...I worked so hard for my first car; a 1978 Monte Carlo; I was so proud of it!! I have assisted my children with mechanical problems that have arisen with their cars/trucks....since my husband does have some rather difficult health issues...I usually will have the kids "repay" me by doing things that need doing around the house...things that would be difficult for my husband to do on his own...or to have them help him with the task; allowing both of us to feel like we did our part...... I have no doubt that you and your husband will do what you believe is the "right thing" for all of the parties involved in this situation.... Be strong, my friend, after all "tough love" is called that for a reason!!! Blessed be!
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
23 Apr 07
I'm not exactly sure of his "plans" but from what I can tell he thinks he's going to be a "big shot" race car driver this summer and all his time will have to go to that. He's no where near ready or good enough to do something like that and it's not as though we race anywhere that someone will actually notice him...but anyway... We have never spent that much on our own vehicles. I know in the "real world" it's not a lot of money, but in our world of middle class, big family, he might as well be asking for 22,000. He just doesn't get it and thinks he's "entitled" because he's the oldest. If he was a good kid and did what he was supposed to, got decent grades and everything then I would feel bad for saying no but well, I've mentioned him before, he's not a "good kid". I wouldn't mind if the car was cheaper (a lot) and he could guarantee some kind of payment, even if part was through chores but I know him...As soon as he got his license he'd be gone all the time and all the promises would mean nothing. This kid needs a lot of tough love but I'm sure since I'm the only one that seems to think this there will be some kind of compromise in the end... My s/o would be jealous, he loves Monte Carlos. His first car was a 1975 Impala but he has a 1976 Monte Carlo that he planned to get running again until the "notorious" teenager went on a window smashing spree with his buddy. And that was totally separate from the incident where he smashed out a windshield (with his head) to make a video for myspace. Oh and if I find where that money tree is hiding I'll let you know!
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
23 Apr 07
well I'm 22 years old. My parents are an average middle-class income earners. And I remember on one occasion where my mom wanted to buy a second hand car for me which belonged to my uncle, because he wanted to get a new one, so he sold the old ones out. Pretty cheap though and it wasn't very fancy either. But I refused. Judging from your story, if I were your son, and if both of my parents are wealthy enough to get a new car for me without adding any 'extra burden' to them . I wouldn't mind to have it. I wanted to get a Ferrari, live in a palace, a wardrobe full of armani suits, living the kind of lifestyle that Paris Hilton lives, as much as I want to have it, and have it all, I know I must work through it. Otherwise I wouldn't know how to appreciate them. As in my case, if my parents are rich enough to afford it, I wouldn't mind to have them, otherwise, I have never never putting any blame on them for failing to provide me with all that I need, in this case; a car. I don't think it's wrong of you to say no to him, because it's time for him to take responsibility in his life and grow. what if he demands of something more expensive and luxurious one day, would you still bow to that becasue apparently it's wrong to say no to him?
2 people like this
@smacksman (6076)
23 Apr 07
Haha - well he's got some cheek!! He should do well in business!He may well be influenced by his peers whose parents are richer and more stupid than you. haha. I would just laugh and say NO WAY!! Part of the fun of starting driving as a youth is paying your own way, having the problems of car ownership first hand, understanding the meaning, the principle, the advantages of maintenance, realising what depreciation is, and possibly the most important thing - the value of money. If his only reason to have a smart car is as a 'pus*y wagon' then he will meet a far more genuine sort of girl who is happy to travel on public transport if he hasn't got a part time job to afford to run a car.
1 person likes this
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
23 Apr 07
Well we don't have public transportation but I think you're right about what he wants a car for. I agree that it's important to learn those lessons otherwise he's going to end up in a real bad spot someday.
1 person likes this
@smacksman (6076)
23 Apr 07
I'm sure he is really a nice fellow, just, well he is 17, just the same as me a few years back. haha With you on his side I'm sure he will turn out fine.
@Calais (10905)
• Australia
23 Apr 07
No, No, No. Dont buy him a car, how silly to waste your savings. Tell him to get a job and buy it himself. No one bought me a car. I went out and worked on weekends to save for mine, like a lot of other people. He obviously has no intentions of paying you back, with no job. And he will probably end up trashing the car anyway hooning around with his friends and showing no respect for the car. If he wants a car, he must be able to afford gas (at the very least), let alone registration and insurance. C'mon, what a bad idea. Im sorry if I sound harsh, I really dont mean to, but I have seen this situation soooo many times, and its the same story over and over. My 7 year old has a savings account just for a car already, when she receives money for birthdays etc....It would surely grow when she gets a job.
1 person likes this
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
23 Apr 07
You don't sound harsh to me...well if you are being harsh so am I! I've seen how he's treated other vehicles so I know it wouldn't last long with him showing off to his friends. The only dent I have in my vehicle is the one HE put there and he wasn't even driving it. His grandpa's truck was parked behind me so he jumped in it with a friend to go down the driveway for the mail. He "thought" he put the truck in reverse before he hit the gas but it wasn't and he slammed into the back of mine instead. That's a great idea to have a savings account started for your daughter. He has one also but it's down to $400 now because of some money he "borrowed" out of it and didn't pay back.
@Marie2473 (8523)
• Sweden
23 Apr 07
This is something I would never even dream of asking my parents while I am unemployed.. I have had my parents take out a loan for me, but I had a job and I paid close to $400 each month, so that the loan would get solved fast. If u do this - it sound as u will be the one paying for his whole car and also insurance and gas for him to get around. He will also think that it is ok to go to mom for everything he needs. He is 17, almost an adult and he should learn that life is not easy and if you want something you have to work hard for it.
1 person likes this
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
23 Apr 07
Mine bought me a $300 car so I COULD get a job but I was also a lot more responsible and paid for my own gas and other expenses, granted gas was a lot cheaper and I would put an average of $10 in it once a week for 5 days of school and the other 2 days of work but I was also only bring home $200 a month. At his age it is time he grows up. He's never been just handed stuff by us, his mom's family does that, but she said no to the car so he's expecting us to "make up" for all his other demands that we didn't give in to...NOT going to happen, if I have any say in it.
@Mamaof2 (574)
• Canada
23 Apr 07
I wouldnt do it....or at least, not right now. There is nothing wrong with helping your son purchase his first car...BUT...I believe he should have a job in order to pay for at least the insurance!!! I wouldnt help until he shows responsibility and gets and holds a job. If the parents are going to be making the car payments (or buying it outright) it is only fair that he is able to take care of the insurance and gas money to drive it around. If that doesnt sit well with him...then maybe he is not ready for the responcibilty of an automobile!!!
1 person likes this
@us2owls (1681)
• United States
23 Apr 07
he wants it all. Tell him to get a job - saven up enough for a downpayment on a car and to pay the first years insurance and then you will talk about co-signing a loan - tell him until he does that you are not interested in hearing his excuses.
1 person likes this
• Pakistan
23 Apr 07
yeah i agree with you but i think that if you try to control them and aware them right and wrong if they not listened to you,use some techniqes try to understand them that is not the age for takingoan or using a aeprate car its age for cycling for sports not for business please try to aware them that do not waste their time in folish thing.you should have to talk with them briefly and try to get the solution
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Apr 07
Personally, until he has the finances to back up his desires I'd simply tell him tough luck! How will he pay for insurance, gas & a car payment if he has no job? No regular source of income means no means of paying his bills. It's a matter of growing up and we all have to do it at some point. If he wants the benefits of being "mature" and grown up enough to own his own vehicle he better have the means to pay for it. That's my opinion. I don't thinkg $2,200 is a lot for a decent car but again, it is if he's expecting you to pay for it and just reap the benefits.
@Dave1969 (58)
• United States
23 Apr 07
I had to buy my first car, $950 cash, I earned the money from a summer job I had. It was'nt a great car but boy did I take care of it. Had my parents given me the car, it would have been nice, but I probly would have trashed it because I would not have anything personally invested in it. It was a great lesson of responsiblity and that if you want something you have to work for it. A lesson Im sure I will pass down to my own kids when the time comes.
1 person likes this
@jhartana (1087)
• Australia
23 Apr 07
Unless if he's already have a job then you may consider getting him a car, otherwise just say no to him. Personally I would not lend any money out to somebody unless I can see if they are trying and most importantly have willingness to work hard and return the money once he earn enough. You are not wrong to say this but it's up to you, you are the one who is going to help out. Hope it will works.
1 person likes this
@Talha22 (384)
• Pakistan
23 Apr 07
well i think you should not allow him to drive or just give him such one car at this stage cause he will just not understand anyone and will be doing what he wants.
1 person likes this
@mtdewgurl74 (18122)
• United States
24 Apr 07
I am sorry but I wouldn't do it I know it is hard sometimes to say no to someone you love but thats why it's called tough love. I would tell him to get a job and open a savings account and start saving money for the things he wants. He doesn't even have his drivers license yet. He should work for it he might hate it but it will teach him that everything in life isn't free. He should also help pay on the insurance especially since he is a new driver your insurance will raise alot. He will need a job to also pay for his own gas and at the prices they are now days he better get a good one. If you have a Kmart in the area they are always a good start for jobs and also they get 10% discount off things when they buy it. Maybe you can set up something with him, Tell him you will match every dollar he saves for a car and insurance till he gets the car then he has to pay his own gas and insurance. And has to pay you 10% of his pay check till he gets it paid back? Maybe this will work. Your not giving in but your helping and it might solve alot of anger also. I never got a car bought and I don't have a car right now but I have seen my mom go through this with my brother. His first car was only $800 and it runned fine. I am sure if he looked farther he might find one cheaper but just as good then for $2200 Then maybe when he gets older he can buy himself another car. When he won't have the tendency to hot rod,show off, and squeal tires..
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
24 Apr 07
It's funny you mentioned Kmart. He applied there in the fall but they didn't hire him. They said it was because he couldn't give set hours that he was available. I think what we've decided is to get him a "beater car" once he actually has his license with the condition that he HAS to get a job. He'll have to pay back whatever money we have to spend on it until he starts getting paid (over what has already been saved for it). I know he can find something decent for a lot cheaper. I found out that the reason he wants this particular car is because it belongs to his friend who wants to sell it to get himself something better. Hot rod, show off, squeal tires...how'd you know LOL that perfectly describes my one and only driving experience with him!
@sunshine4 (8710)
• United States
23 Apr 07
I think that you are right not to get him the car. My 18 yr old bought a car when he was 16. He used his own money that he made working. He also pays for his part of insurance and his cell phone bill. He had a job since 14 at a local pizza place. We have always told our kids that if they want something they must purchase it themselves. This gives them the responsibilities of making money and saving for what is important to them. My 15 yr old just purchased a car~even though he doesn't even have a liscense yet. We paid for it and he is paying us $50 a week from his pay. He also works for the local pizza place. Once he gets his liscense, he will be paying for his insurance also. We would never purchase a large ticket item for our boys unless they had the resources to pay us back. We make out a weekly payment plan for them and they have to stick to it. Once again, we are hoping that this will help them budget for things in the future.
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
24 Apr 07
It sounds like you are a very responsible parent with two responsible sons!