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Top 5 tips for buying a car for your student child

Your child has just passed their drivers licence and will be heading off to university next year. Needless to say, they most probably want their own car. This all too common scenario leaves parents with the difficult question of how they are going to participate (if at all) in getting the appropriate vehicle for their child.
Teenagers often have visions of a hot hatch in mind for a vehicle, but the reality is that unless there's a significant bank account, those choices are not necessarily attainable for many, even with parents supporting them. 

Here are five pieces of advice for students (and their parents) who are looking to buy a car. 

1. Budget

Whether you are purchasing the vehicle for them, or only assisting with a loan it is a good idea to involve your child in the budgeting process. Set the amount you can afford and then hunt for the best value in that price range. Remember to budget for insurance, registration, running costs and servicing.

Ideally one should invest in an extended warranty or a service plan – but this is not always financially viable. This is, however, a good time to assist your child in realising the importance of budgeting for maintenance and other unforeseen costs. 

2. Never compromise on safety

If you are buying from a private seller, rather get a mechanic to check the vehicle out. Teach your child that they should regularly get the brakes, shocks, lights, side-mirrors and wipers checked. Reiterate the importance of budgeting for replacing tyres and wiper blades. It may seem like the money would be better spent on parties and fun stuff - but compromising one’s safety by not having a fund for vehicle maintenance is not an option. 

3. Buy reliable

Colour and looks are not as important as a vehicle that will start first time, every time. Check the service history and question the current owner about any recurring issues. Purchasing from a reputable dealership is a great idea as you will be assured that all history checks on the vehicle have been carried out and all the paperwork will be checked and handled for you. You can find your nearest Imperial Auto dealer here. 

4. Think security

Expensive sound systems and trendy mags might be desirable for a student driver but they’re also thief magnets. Vehicles, especially when parked where students often park them, are vulnerable to crime. It is a good idea to invest in a good electronic security system, this will reduce the monthly insurance premiums as well. 

5. Get insurance

It may be tempting to not incur the additional cost of insurance on the vehicle, but rather be safe than sorry. As the absolute minimum make sure your child is covered for third party claims. 

For more useful info on purchasing your first car visit: and join the conversation on Facebook -

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Imperial Auto
Imperial Auto supplies a comprehensive range of automotive solutions including the sale of new and used vehicles, as well as parts and servicing for passenger and commercial vehicles.