Published On: Fri, Aug 15th, 2014

Should You Buy Your Son His First Car

Let’s set the scene. It’s your son’s 18th birthday soon, and he has just passed his driving test. There is a lot of cause for celebrations in your household right now! Your son will be thinking about getting on the road soon, but the only trouble is he hasn’t got a car.


He’s busy studying at college and only has a part-time job that doesn’t pay much. He’s said that he will save up to buy a banger, but you don’t want him to drive an unreliable and perhaps unsafe car.

You keep asking yourself whether you should just go out and buy him a car. As you are debating the answer, it becomes clear that it might not be a good idea for you to go and buy him a car. But what should you do?

In this article, I discuss some ways that you can tackle this subject. Everyone involved will end up with a satisfactory result.

Don’t choose your son’s car for him

When your son has a birthday, you might get him presents that he’s “hinted” he wants. But when it comes to cars, things are a little different. Your son won’t have much real world experience or knowledge on the different models on the market.

He also won’t know of the pitfalls of buying certain models. At such a tender young age, all he will care about is having a “cool” car. And if he’s not a petrolhead in the making, he might not care about cars at all.

Work with him – find out why he wants a car

He might tell you that he wants to have independence, and be able to see his friends. That’s fine, but will he need a car for specific purposes? If he will soon be getting a job and faces a long commute each day, he will need a comfortable car that’s good on fuel.

Sports cars are out of the question, as his insurance premiums will cost a fortune. Instead, suggest some model choices to him and see what he would feel comfortable driving.


There are plenty of websites that offer reviews on specific makes and models. You can both draw up a shortlist, and then check out prices from websites like

Strike up a deal on the cost of the car

Unless you are rich, you might not be able to afford buying your son a car and not getting the money back for it at some stage.

There are many ways that you could strike up a deal with him:

  • Lend him the money to buy the car that he wants, and get him to pay you back in instalments when he’s earning a good salary;
  • Get him to buy his car himself, and offer to pay his insurance and tax for a year on it.

It all depends on how generous you are feeling. I don’t advocate buying him a car as a present, because it won’t give him a real-life example of learning the meaning of money.
Good luck!