How much should teens contribute to auto expenses?
We have one child about to get her driver's license and one getting his permit this summer. What do you make your teenage drivers help pay for when: 1) They only borrow the family car; or, 2) They have their own car? What percent of these items do they pay? I'm thinking fuel, city stickers, plates, insurance, servicing . . .
Unfortunately, I'm an only child, so I can't really answer the first part about the permit. Unless if the child that has the permit has a job, I'd say the least he/she could do is chip in for gas on the family car. (But that's my opinion). I was grateful enough for my mother to buy me a used Mazda and I pay for my gas, I put in 200$ for insurance, and I have yet to buy my stickers for the new year but I'll be buying them myself. For servicing, the day after we bought the car my mom and step dad brought it in for an oil change. Right now the right-front tire is getting a little screwy and my mom offered to get me a new one but we'll see how that goes. Hope this helps
If it's their own car, all of it. I've had to work hard for everything I have and it's made me appreciate it that much more, and my kids will have the same opportunity. When they're old enough, they're free to get a job or do their own entrepreneurial activities. It's their money, they can do with it what they want. Cars are kind of like pets in that you can't just buy it and that's it -- recurring costs have to be figured into the plan to own a car. There's always a bicycle if one fails to plan and ends up with a car that can't be on the road for a while for whatever reason.
For the family car -- I like the way my mom did it, and will probably do it the same. My sister and I didn't have the family car often at all, but I did borrow it on several occasions. When I did, I just had to fill up the gas tank before returning it. I may only use a gallon and it needs 5, but that's how I put in my extra for all the other expenses of running the car. It was almost exclusively my mom's car, so it seemed the fairest way of sharing the costs. Obviously, if it's used by more people on a fairly balanced basis then percentages of total costs probably need to be figured out.
Around here teenagers get their first job to pay for their car and all its expenses. (This is often all the job pays for as they're not high paying jobs!) Parents don't help them... if they have to then the kids are not showing enough responsibility to have the car in the first place. Just a thought.
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