Has your teenager been having to wait until one of his parents hands over the keys before he can use the car? If you have been thinking about getting him his own car, consider making that his Christmas present this year. When you shop carefully, you can find an affordable and dependable car.
First Things First - The joke is to buy your child a car that gets poor gas mileage because then he can't take it out too often or drive it too far. However, most parents really want safety to be the first priority. Before you pick out a car for your son or daughter, it's a good idea to go to the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That website publishes crash test ratings for different cars which will help you know which ones are the safest.
Next On The List - Besides safety and price, think about what your child's needs are. If you don't want your daughter to be giving rides to a lot of her friends, consider a two-seater truck. If you have a rule that your son has to double date, then you'll want to find a car or a truck that seats four people. Find out the history of the vehicle. If it has been in a major accident, that could be an issue in the future.
Last, But Still Important - Don't present your teenager with a clunker! If you have found a dependable car that needs a paint job, that can get expensive. However, you can do it yourself. You'll need an open space away from the elements to do your work.
- Start with a thoroughly clean car and begin sanding as much of the old paint away as you can. Pay extra attention to getting rusty spots off, or the new paint won't adhere properly.
- Think of every single thing on the car that you don't want painted and cover it carefully with masking tape.
- Prime the surfaces and allow the primer to set thoroughly. Sand again.
- The next step is the most fun! Using specialty auto paint, begin spraying in even strokes. Be careful not to let the paint settle into pools. It's very important for you to wear a safety mask.
- After the auto paint, from a place like the Space Age Auto Paint Store, is completely dry, sand it again.
- End with elbow grease as you polish the car with a compound that is made especially for this type of job.
Even if the car looks great, it's still fun to add some personal touches to the car, and you can do that yourself, using touch-up paint and brushes. If your daughter loves lady bugs, paint a tiny one by the door handle. Is your son a Star Wars fan? Consider adding the words, "The Force," or a cartoon depiction of his favorite character. Just be creative!
Don't forget to have the camera ready to take pictures of your teenager receiving this awesome gift!