This holiday season, you may be considering handing your teenager the keys to your car. But are they ready? How will you know? While we parents have no official checklist to determine their preparation, your teenager can show key qualities to prove they’re ready.

First, they need to exercise good judgment. Teenagers are prone to mistakes, and that’s only natural! But it’s important that they generally choose the smarter path. Without an inner compass, the question isn’t necessarily how good or bad their driving habits will be, but what they’ll do once they’re alone with the car. Don’t get us wrong — you’ll need to invest some trust, too. But if they have history as a troublemaker, they may have to prove themselves before getting behind the wheel.

Second, they need to follow rules. Do they believe rules are made to be broken? Having a “color outside the lines” mentality might mean they don’t follow instructions on a school assignment, but they’d never do anything to hurt you or anyone else. Still, no matter why they break rules, they need to understand that the rules of the road are non-negotiable, and it could be very dangerous — life-changing — if they bend the rules.

Third, they are responsible. Do they complete all their chores or hold a part-time job? What about taking care of younger siblings or staying on top of their extracurricular activities? If they can stay on top of things and learn to always keep promises, there’s a good chance they can handle driving a car carefully.
It’s both exciting and scary when your teenager is about to start a new chapter of independence. But you won’t have to do it alone! Whether you’d like to shop for a new car for yourself or your teenager, AFEUSA members can take advantage of our partner, TrueCar. Compare models at thousands of dealerships all over the U.S.! It’s incredibly easy to choose the most affordable price for your dream car.

Article by
Wayne Goshkarian,
Director of Communications

Wayne Goshkarian in front of his jet