How did you get your young adult behind the wheel?

Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Messages
630
Location
Georgia
I own a dealership. What my son should drive ended up becoming one of the more complicated questions I ever had to answer.

Some of my goals were diametrically opposed to each other. I wanted my son to be able to perform basic maintenance... but also have exposure to more than one time of motor (gas, hybrid, EV).

I also wanted him to drive older vehicles and late models. Specifically because the older car can do the job just as well and even though there are some advantages with newer vehicles when it comes to safety and fuel economy, the value is found with older cars if you drive like a decent human being.

I also didn't want him to fall in love with a car, but at least appreciate the unique qualities of whatever he drives. A car is a tool. Absolutely. But it's also a personal living space that gets used daily. Personalizing and improving the vehicle is absolutely fine and smart.

One other thing, Whatever he would drive eventually gets sold for a profit. I want him to keep his costs down in the long run when it comes to car ownership. If I remain healthy, my hope is that I can help him and his family avoid any form of debt.

This is what he had from beginning to end.

2016 Toyota Prius Two Eco
2013 Toyota Prius V
2017 Kia Soul
2004 Saab 9-3
2007 Ford Five Hundred Limited

He also drove a MiEV for a bit that we use for local driving. The Prius was definitely the best all around vehicle but the Five Hundred fit his needs incredibly well and cost less than $2500 in the end. Nearly 80% less than the Prius. He also thought the SAAB was an expensive luxury car. When I told him it was less than $2000, he learned the value of the automotive dollar real quick!

He's a smart kid. The three things he cared about most were fuel economy, safety, and having enough acceleration to easily handle on ramps and the flow of traffic. We spent a hundred hours on driving before he got his license and we sometimes bantered back and forth about driving techniques while he practiced his craft. He also did oil changes and other basic car maintenance.

I wonder how you guys did it. There are many roads that lead to where you need to be.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
271
Location
Wpg. Canada
Mine got a 2007 Civic EX coupe with a standard transmission. Good on gas, sporty enough but not too fast. Standards are a dying off and he wanted one bad, that and he could practice to drive my standard Mustang GT that he gets to drive from time to time.

That said I'm a fan of the Kia Soul. Had one as a rental in Hawaii two years ago.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Messages
831
My dad never really cared, we both do things together, I do alot of the electrical and engine stuff , he likes detailing. he drives sometimes with me and I drived sometimes

He even still drives me places, so does my mom, because one day they won't be able to like I was a little kid
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2012
Messages
1,876
Location
Southwest
Just gave basic instruction and then made her be my (bad) chauffeur for six months.

If I were king I would start the learner!s permit at least six months earlier than it is now.

Down South they used to think that you are a lost cause if you weren’t driving by 13.
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
Messages
19,220
Location
Silicon Valley
Not my kids (too young to drive) but my friend's kid. Basically something simple so he doesn't need to overthink it and troubleshoot it. We figure due to the high risk of accident in teen a cheap to purchase reasonable reliable, not totally uncool (not need to be cool just need to be NOT uncool), and most of the time end up with some sort of Corolla, Camry, Mazda2, etc. Most of the time I do not recommend new drivers to get SUVs or van, because it is harder to drive and park in urban area and more chances for fender bender, harder to find street parking for parallel parking, etc. Usually I recommend something that is 3-6 years, but nothing older than 10 for mechanical illiterate people.

Not a safety nut but back up camera really helps.
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
2,614
Location
CenTX
No kids,
But I can tell you that I can operate and maintain a 2005 Ford Ranger probably with my eyes closed to this day. That was my teenage baby. Everyday I drove around the world twice it felt like. But never left a small town.

Most of us in High School drove Ford Rangers, Crown Victorias/Grand Marquis, Various Saturns with mismatched plastics, and the occasional 4.0l Jeep.

and these were all usually either the old car of our parents, who oddly enough drove a newer year of the same vehicle you did, or a former less than base model equipped fleet vehicle (cheap mules with no frills)

simple vehicles in a simple town. Some were horrible, but I’d take any of their maintenance costs over long periods of time over some of the Turbocharged, CVT driven, Hybrid failing, things we got today.

(The area I grew up in literally has 2 dealerships. The dealerships signs still say “Ford-Lincoln-Mercury” and “GMC-Saturn” with the GMC part being painted on the back of an old GEO sign as you can see GEO when the lights on. This in 2021 lol)

To add to this: I live by a high school now in a different state. Nissan Altimas and Kia Souls fill up almost the entire lot and area at lunchtime. I graduated high school in 2010 and it’s wild what kids drive these days. Like some of them are newer than the vehicles I own now are, some are some of the higher trims too!


But yeah. If I ever have kids and am searching for a vehicle. You’re gonna get the older base model if not fleet model of whatever econobox truck or car is out there at the time. While I tell you how back in my day, daddy had crank windows and took his 400$ aftermarket am/fm/cd radio faceplate off when going somewhere so it didn’t get stolen in a single cab Ford Ranger so be thankful.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2018
Messages
4,353
Location
Great Lakes
I let my 5 year old idle around the church parking lot in my new truck with him on my lap. I’ve created a monster with that one…

Assuming my kids are responsible, they’ll be getting their learners permits and taking Drivers Ed classes as soon as possible and then they’re going to chauffeur us around till they get their license. They’ll be getting relatively newer cars but without the swarm of safety Nannie’s like lane keep assist/forward collision warning and braking/blind spot monitoring…. They can have a backup camera though. I’m also going to make them understand they’re piloting 4,000-6,000lb chunks of metal and flammable liquids that will absolutely kill somebody if they’re not careful like my mom did to me.

Oh, another thing she did…. Took us to an empty parking lot, turned off traction control, told us to hit about 20mph and then she cranked the e-brake to make the car slide. I’m going to do something similar with my kids, except I’m yanking the ABS fuse so they know how wildly different a vehicle will handle without that safety net.
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2011
Messages
9,817
Location
North Carolina
You're overthinking it. I'm going to do for my kids what my dad did my my sister and I:

Help them buy what they like and want while helping them stay grounded in reality. For me that was an '84 200SX Turbo. For my sister that was a 1999 Golf 2.0.

No point in buying your child something based solely on your opinion. Is it for you or them?
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
18,711
Location
NH
I haven’t figured it out. My 14 year refuses to drive: she says she’s too young. The 16 year old lost interest over the pandemic and is only just starting to get back to it. I’ve tried to show both some basic maintenance stuff but neither has a lot of interest, and he’s disabled, so to them, I suspect a car will forever be a thing with four doors and four wheels that takes you places, and costs you money to do so.

Me, I’ll gladly buy the kids cars if I had to, no jobs within walking or biking distance, so getting them a car would get me & the wife out of kid taxi duty. No worries about them doing stupid teen stuff, outside of true accidents they just aren’t the sort to take chances. We have a hand-me-down CRV that will be teen fodder, I have no love for that car and won’t be sad if/when it goes away.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2010
Messages
9,212
Location
Champlain/Hudson Valley
The focus of this thread is not sharp.
The "How do you get your young adult behind the wheel?" question is answered in terms of what they want to drive or how they'll be taught to drive. Cost of maintenance came up as did ego and practicality.

I guess the HUGE DIFFERENTIATING FACTOR between folk responding here and me is that I'm from a place with varying public transportation.
You got THE FIRST car you could reasonably afford.

Any talk of what your kid WANTS to drive blows my mind. If you let "car desires" rule your life (and it starts early), you deserve to spend your life in the living hell of car payments.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2012
Messages
3,792
Location
Caldwell Idaho
My best friends parents my other "mom and Dad? owned an auto whole sale business. My other dad would bring us cars to work on and let us drive for the summer and holidays . The best part was he would bring us Corvettes to drive with the stern warning of if you wreck the car I will never bring home any other cars. It worked . I am 68 years old this year. My son didn't have the motivation to drive I almost had to force my son to learn to drive, My ddd took both my kids out driving on the private roads when they were growing up.. The motivating factor that put my son in motion was I lived about 2 miles from Merle Haggard 's house and there was wild land fire in the area and my son said dad lets see if the fire is at Merles house , Willie Nelson may be visiting Merle and they may have got stoned and dropped a joint and started the fire. I said sure you drive ,, that started the process of the son driving
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
10,120
Location
SE British Columbia, Canada
My older two drove grampa’s 89 Olds Delta 88. I put in a cool stereo from Crutchfield. They only had to run out of gas once to understand the refuelling concept. My son learned about auto mechanics on it under my supervision. My third drove our 2000 Ford Taurus. That 17 year old girl could swap winter tires with a torque wrench. All three were eager to drive. To get them going I put them into driver training. They didn’t want to listen to me. :D
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 8, 2011
Messages
673
Location
MO, USA
I own a dealership. What my son should drive ended up becoming one of the more complicated questions I ever had to answer.

Some of my goals were diametrically opposed to each other. I wanted my son to be able to perform basic maintenance... but also have exposure to more than one time of motor (gas, hybrid, EV).

I also wanted him to drive older vehicles and late models. Specifically because the older car can do the job just as well and even though there are some advantages with newer vehicles when it comes to safety and fuel economy, the value is found with older cars if you drive like a decent human being.

I also didn't want him to fall in love with a car, but at least appreciate the unique qualities of whatever he drives. A car is a tool. Absolutely. But it's also a personal living space that gets used daily. Personalizing and improving the vehicle is absolutely fine and smart.

One other thing, Whatever he would drive eventually gets sold for a profit. I want him to keep his costs down in the long run when it comes to car ownership. If I remain healthy, my hope is that I can help him and his family avoid any form of debt.

This is what he had from beginning to end.

2016 Toyota Prius Two Eco
2013 Toyota Prius V
2017 Kia Soul
2004 Saab 9-3
2007 Ford Five Hundred Limited

He also drove a MiEV for a bit that we use for local driving. The Prius was definitely the best all around vehicle but the Five Hundred fit his needs incredibly well and cost less than $2500 in the end. Nearly 80% less than the Prius. He also thought the SAAB was an expensive luxury car. When I told him it was less than $2000, he learned the value of the automotive dollar real quick!

He's a smart kid. The three things he cared about most were fuel economy, safety, and having enough acceleration to easily handle on ramps and the flow of traffic. We spent a hundred hours on driving before he got his license and we sometimes bantered back and forth about driving techniques while he practiced his craft. He also did oil changes and other basic car maintenance.

I wonder how you guys did it. There are many roads that lead to where you need to be.
My daughter had a Ford Probe, my Twin Son's had a 1969 Ford Mustang, built for speed, converted to a stick shift, Aluminum heads etc, ran 186
I own a dealership. What my son should drive ended up becoming one of the more complicated questions I ever had to answer.

Some of my goals were diametrically opposed to each other. I wanted my son to be able to perform basic maintenance... but also have exposure to more than one time of motor (gas, hybrid, EV).

I also wanted him to drive older vehicles and late models. Specifically because the older car can do the job just as well and even though there are some advantages with newer vehicles when it comes to safety and fuel economy, the value is found with older cars if you drive like a decent human being.

I also didn't want him to fall in love with a car, but at least appreciate the unique qualities of whatever he drives. A car is a tool. Absolutely. But it's also a personal living space that gets used daily. Personalizing and improving the vehicle is absolutely fine and smart.

One other thing, Whatever he would drive eventually gets sold for a profit. I want him to keep his costs down in the long run when it comes to car ownership. If I remain healthy, my hope is that I can help him and his family avoid any form of debt.

This is what he had from beginning to end.

2016 Toyota Prius Two Eco
2013 Toyota Prius V
2017 Kia Soul
2004 Saab 9-3
2007 Ford Five Hundred Limited

He also drove a MiEV for a bit that we use for local driving. The Prius was definitely the best all around vehicle but the Five Hundred fit his needs incredibly well and cost less than $2500 in the end. Nearly 80% less than the Prius. He also thought the SAAB was an expensive luxury car. When I told him it was less than $2000, he learned the value of the automotive dollar real quick!

He's a smart kid. The three things he cared about most were fuel economy, safety, and having enough acceleration to easily handle on ramps and the flow of traffic. We spent a hundred hours on driving before he got his license and we sometimes bantered back and forth about driving techniques while he practiced his craft. He also did oil changes and other basic car maintenance.

I wonder how you guys did it. There are many roads that lead to where you need to be.
MY daughter Ford Probe, twin son's, hot rod 1969 MUSTANG, another son Hot Rd Chevy Camaro 1972, both Son's cars built by Me
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
3,050
Location
California
Well, he wasn't exactly a young adult yet, but getting him behind the wheel didn't take any effort. He'd been driving farm vehicles on my brother's ranch since he was 10. I think he started driving the Grand Cherokee on the property when he was 12. He'd always ask me when we'd go visit his uncle again because he wanted to drive the Steiger. He was maintaing and working on his grandfather's Golf for a couple of years before his grandpa gave him the car. Some of his friends still don't know how to drive. They take Uber. 🙄
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
25,857
Location
Dallas,Tx USA
My dad would let me sit in his lap and steer the car up the driveway when I like 4 or 5. Then I graduated to sitting in his lap steering around the neighborhood. Then he'd turn me loose with the car by myself on the deer lease. Then around 12 or 13, my friends and I would sneak one of our parents' cars out in the middle of the night and go driving around town, picking up other friends who'd sneak out haha!!:D My one best friend made copies of his parents' and grandparents' car keys haha!!
 
Joined
May 26, 2019
Messages
234
Location
Inside a Mori Seiki
As i myself am a young Millennial adult, my biggest inspiration was being able to drive up to school and eventually get my own car. Plus growing up in the 90s and early 2000s, there were plenty of cool cars out there that really made me excited when i would be able to get my license. Prior to getting my temps at 15.5, my parents were looking at potential cars for me to learn on. They found an 01 Camaro Z28 they were looking to get but there was an issue with the turn signal and my mom didn't like the vison out of the back. Needless to say i was quite disappointed when they told me that they were not getting it. As bumming as it was when i realized i would be using my Grandmother's old Taurus that she was getting rid of to get a Focus, to learn to drive in, I still had plenty of drive to want to get something fun and sporty to go on drives with my friends. And as much as i hated the "5 cones of doom", i wanted to pass so i could get one step closer to getting a car i wanted and could pick out by myself.

the TLDR version in simple terms is this car here is what inspired me to get behind the wheel asap
1997-Eagle-Talon-FrontSide_EATAL971_506x361.jpg


My Motorcycle endorcement was a "ill take the state class, because why not. plus its only 50 bucks and it seems a bit interesting" back in 2019 and i found i enjoyed riding almost as much as driving.
 

blupupher

Site Donor 2021
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Messages
7,175
Location
Katy, Republic of Texas
As for what to drive, they don't get a say since I am buying it.

My daughter got my wife's '12 Scion xB in 2018, we were wanting a newer vehicle for my wife and my daughter was 16, so kinda made sense for her to get that. Vehicle has good crash ratings, fairly new, low mileage with a known history (we have had it since new).
She likes the car and it will be her car till it dies (will give her the title when she moves out).

For my son, well he turned 16 three months ago and has only done two of fourty required behind the wheel hours with me, so no idea when or what he will be getting to drive.
My nephew is selling his '04 Sonata for cheap, and I have debated getting that, but he is showing no real interest in driving, so no point in buying a vehicle to sit in the driveway for months. It would be a placeholder vehicle for him, boys are so much more expensive to insure, and having a 18 year old vehicle will be cheaper to insure for sure.
 
Joined
May 7, 2015
Messages
506
Location
AZ
my son drove what he could afford.
i made a deal i'd match what he saved for a vehicle. he ended up with a 91 toyota pickup with 22re 5speed. they he promply trashed in under a year. now he walks or pays frineds in tanks of fuel while it's sitting next to the shop.
 

Nick1994

$50 Site Donor
Joined
Feb 19, 2013
Messages
14,076
Location
Phoenix, AZ
My sister is 16, last winter I let her drive my Jeep out on some dirt roads to practice and she was nervous, she was headed for a HUGE pile of cactus and froze and wouldn't brake, I reached over and threw it in park GRIIIINNNNNNDDDD. Sounded bad from the parking prawl, but survived.

I'll do it again soon, but this time in the Camry.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
Messages
6,970
Location
New England
Since 15 my daughter has driven on and off. Legal now in NH on road at 15.5 no license. She is pretty competent at driving on road however freezes up a little in more complex situations(town center rotaries and splits) and requires guidance. She is taking drivers ed soon and is expected to have X hours before starting.

Myself I learned in my brother's Jeep CJ-7 with 4 speed manual that I would drive down a narrow steep trail behind house and then onto a fire road for White Mountain National Forest. I did take drivers ed in a manual car no less!
 
Top