Some of my most challenging moments as a parent have come while teaching a teen to drive. If you’re like me, you’ve spent a ton of time wondering what your teen driver needs to know about cars and driving. It’s nerve-wracking for sure. In our state, while not required, driving school is recommended. My kids went to a driving school that included 8-hours of classroom instruction and 6-hours of one-on-one behind the wheel instruction.
It was the perfect combination for them and made me feel more comfortable getting in the car with them for additional practice. Kind of. While driving school is great, there’s just so much that comes with the privilege and responsibility of being a licensed driver. Much of it, like buying a car and troubleshooting vehicle issues is trial and error. Costly trial and error, if we’re being honest.
What Your Teen Driver Needs to Know About Car Buying
I recently had to step into a car dealership for another vehicle for my daughters. They both work at the same place so they’ve been driving in together and were in need of a new car. It was quite an the experience:
As we sat at the desk in the dealership, the sales rep presents us with a total that is $2,000 more than the advertised price. My mom-senses start tingling thinking, ok, these girls are going to be paying us back for this used vehicle, I’m not comfortable with a $2,000 increase. Once I scrutinized some of the line items I was immediately drawn to an $882 ‘safety package’ fee. I spent a good 5 minutes ‘discussing’ the fee with the sales rep.
“So, it’s optional, then right?” I argued. Back and forth we went.
I mean, the safety package included back brake lights that flash four times, some glass etching, and other random things that I just didn’t feel were necessary. Needless to say, my ‘negotiation’ skills brought the price of the vehicle down to a much more comfortable range. It wound up being only about $600 more than the advertised price. I still wasn’t thrilled with it, but some things like tax, title, and registration as well as documentation fees, I think are standard by state. I’m still not 100% sure.
Is your teen driver comfortable with what they need to know before they set out on the road toward adulting? Imagine not having to muddle through car maintenance, car-buying, or car ownership on your own. This is why I’m so excited about this course.
Before Your First Car: A Virtual Car Ownership Class for Teens and Young Adults
Chaya Milchtein is an automotive educator, writer, and speaker, and the founder of Mechanic Shop Femme. She has created a course designed to equip teens and young adults between the ages of 15 and 24, with the knowledge they need to be safer drivers.
What Your Teen Driver Needs to Know
This two-day, weekend course will be held in a Facebook Live format. It’s offered in one-hour increments each day and classes are sliding scale and will cost between $39 and $159.
Milchtein says: “As an automotive educator, I know buying a car can often be an incredible stressor. By understanding what to do when you get that pesky check engine light to preventing a predatory car loan, if young people are educated from an early age, they can prevent being taken advantage of. This class is intended to educate young people at an early age before they’re too far into the car ownership journey so they don’t make mistakes that can easily be prevented.”
With basics like an Overview of the Car Manual, Basic Maintenance, and How To Say ‘No’ To a Mechanic, Milchtein will equip teens with the knowledge and confidence to make them safe, engaged, responsible drivers and car owners.
Be sure to visit the website for a complete rundown of what will be covered each day. This course is a great way to give your teen the basics beyond what they learn at driver’s ed. Ensure they’re prepared. Enroll your teen in the Before Your First Car: A Virtual Car Ownership Class for Teens and Young Adults course.