This is a partnered post.
When your children are old enough to drive, you face a difficult decision; do you buy them a car or share one together? Many parents opt for the second option as it saves money. However, this isn’t always the best choice! Here are some compelling reasons to think twice before sharing a car with your child:
It’s not always cheaper
The problem with sharing a car is that it gets used twice as much. This means you double your petrol bill every year. You could argue that your child will pay for what they use, so it shouldn’t matter. But, is this the case? The chances are your child will wait until you’ve filled up the car before using it again. It’s hard to police this as they can use delaying tactics or claim that they’ve not driven it as much as you. If you bought them their own car, you only have to worry about the one-off purchase price. Now, they have to fill it up with gas, forcing them to be responsible and pay their way.
It puts the family car at risk
It’s no secret that young drivers can be a bit temperamental. They’re new to the roads, so there’s more chance of them getting involved in auto accidents. Granted, you can work with a skilled lawyer to get money in compensation to cover repair costs. However, you’re now without a car until things get fixed. The courtesy car you receive might be unsuitable for a family, putting you in an annoying position. Also, what if they total the car? This can happen in minor accidents depending on what part of the car was damaged. So, you need to buy a new family car while also doing all the other errands at the same time. If you both had separate cars, this wouldn’t be a problem.
It makes scheduling far too difficult
This is probably the biggest reason to not share cars. It makes scheduling almost impossible for both parties. You need the car to do your things, they need it for theirs. There’ll be a constant battle to decide who can have the car at what time. Both of you will have to make compromises that annoy you. It can also create a more tense dynamic between you and your child, which isn’t ideal. Again, if they had their own car, you could both work on your own schedules.
Understandably, some families aren’t in a position to afford another car. If this is the case, then you will have to share with your child. Just keep these things in mind, and try to prevent them from becoming big issues.
If you can afford to, it’s well worth buying your child a car of their own. It doesn’t have to be a fancy one; you can find used cars for really low prices. Or, buy yourself a new family car and give them the old one! Either way, it will keep everyone happy as you can stay out of each other’s way while also giving your child a lesson on being responsible.