Originally Posted by MaryO
I got my first car at 17 in 1984. It was a 1972 4-door Chevy Impala that we bought for $300!. Talk about a tank! Luckily, gas wasn't expensive then and it did the job for me for about a year. Manual windows, can't remember if it had air conditioning and while it did have a radio, no tape player or anything. And yes, I had to pay the insurance on it.
I would have never dreamt of asking my mom for a car at 16...she would have, and should have, laughed in my face if I did. When did kids start expecting a car just because they turned 16? It's not a right, it's a privilege. (See this is why I never had kids, they would hate me!)
If you must have something, find something cheap, somewhat reliable and make sure you check on insurance prices BEFORE you buy. Insurance for a 16 year old male is crazy expensive and any car that even hints at being "sporty", i.e. has sport in the name, has a spoiler, or less than 4 doors, is going to be even more ridiculous...even though it may not look like much.
You have over a year to save so you should be able to come up with something. Just don't forget all the extra costs to figure in, monthly insurance, gas, oil, regular maintenance, possibly tires, etc. There's more to buying a car than just what you have to pay for the car itself.
Good luck! I hope this didn't sound to harsh...just giving you a dose of reality. I really hope you find something if you need it.
Mine was a similar situation. Getting a car in high school wasn't even a remote possibility. We were a family of 6 living on a teacher's salary and my two older brothers were in college. Instead, I drove my father's little Datsun until I graduated from college and got a full time job and had to move out of town. I thne bought a 1975 Olds 98 for around $400. I got custom plates that said MY BOAT, because the car was about 21' long and took up 2 parking spots. The paint was shot, the windshield leaked, the tranny was slipping, the AC didn't work, and it got about 10 MPG. But it was mine! About a year later when I got myself established, I bought my first new car, a Nissan Sentra.
I gave my oldest daughter my Grand Prix when she was a senior in high school. It was about 5 years old and had 100K miles on it, but it was in good shape. Next year my youngest daughter is going to be a senior. It is too soon to give her my present car, which is not even three years old and less than 60K miles. So I've been looking on line for a used car, and I'm amazed how expensive it is to get anything with less than 100K miles. Yesterday I found a 2007 Honda Fit with about 60K miles for around $7K. I don't want to spend a lot of money, because my daughter is not the greatest driver, and I know it is going to get scraped and dented up. So there is no reason to buy something that is in excellent condition. I'd like to spend under $5K, but at some point you are going to be paying sooner or later for repairs and I don't want her to get stranded on the road.
Oh, and getting a car is contingent on her getting a job to at least pay for the gas and maintenance.