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After a Year – A New to Him Car


Sea Cadet left for Virginia last night on a Greyhound. He paid $92 out of the monies he saved over the summer. He will return before Tuesday with his new to him car…a 2001 Cadillac Deville.

Sea Cadet's new to him car

Sea Cadet’s new car – a 2001 Cadillac Deville

It is a graduation gift from my Uncle and is titled in his name. But his insurance will remain under me while he is in school full time. (I called to confirm that 1) it could be titled in his name and 2) it was still cheaper to keep him under my policy.)

He has not had a car since last year when he totaled his car, and has handled it like a champ. Sea Cadet has walked to and from work. Had to do without a lot of car access (he was able to drive mine when I didn’t need it.) And just generally had a great attitude.

It was hard to watch him spend his senior year so tied down, but I think it was a very valuable lesson.

The Financial Implications of a New Car

He has paid $25 per week for his insurance. That cost will now go up to $50 per week. (We are keeping full coverage for a short while to make sure he is comfortable with the car, but will then probably drop down to liability only.)

His school is 12 miles from our house and he must attend class twice a week, and attends Police Explorers an hour away from home. He will be responsible for all his own gas and maintenance.

Thankfully, he got a new job last week at a local hardware store and is loving it. He’s making $9.50 per hour. And while he is sad about not getting to return to the coffee shop, I think this new experience will be really good for him. They are open to working around his school schedule too.

Finally, per our earlier agreement on a car, he has $500 in a “can’t touch this” savings account in case he has any issues with the car.

I haven’t figured out how to fairly ask him to help me out with some carpooling duties. I will probably wait a while before I ask so he can get accustomed to his new car.

Do you ask your kids to run errands for you on occasion or ask them to help drive younger siblings around sometime? If so, do you compensate them somehow? Pay for gas or ?


  • Reply Laura |

    My mom was a single parent with an erratic work schedule and I was the oldest so I drove my siblings around a lot. I can remember driving her to work at 7 am on a Saturday then driving a sibling to an activity later in the day. I did not have my own car, the trade off was I could use mom’s car when she didn’t need it and she paid my insurance.

    • Reply Hope |

      Yes, I have covered all our gas this past year. But now…he will take on that responsibility with his own car. And I want to be fair in compensating him when he helps me out with errand running and driving his siblings around at times.

  • Reply Reece |

    That is so cool that he was gifted this car! I’m sure he understands what a huge blessing this is.
    I also know you can make a good arrangement where you maybe help out with gas or insurance and make arrangements where he helps take the 2 younger kids to stuff if he can. That’s just part of being. Family, right? Good for him and best of luck with his studies.

  • Reply GreenDollarBills |

    Echoing Reese above – what a fantastic gift! Totally, agree with you. There needs to be a level of responsibility that comes with such a great gift – it keeps people grounded and from taking such gifts for granted. Ask away!

  • Reply shanna |

    I would ask for some professional advice on him dropping to only liability later. If he needs a car for work/school he will be totally out of luck if he gets hit by an uninsured driver or he totals his car in any way. Having comprehensive and collision may cost more but protects him moving forward.

  • Reply Angie |

    My son will be a senior this year and we just got his first vehicle. I am a single parent that works 12 to 16 hour shifts, so him having his own vehicle makes sense. He is my youngest as well, so I don’t have to ask him to cart others around. But I do pay for his gas to get to school and back, extra curricular activities, etc, which is estimated and I give him a monthly budget. I have asked him to get a few groceries here and there as well or drop/pick things up/off. I have a checking acct and he has a high school acct that is linked to mine, so I can watch his balance and transfer funds immediately. Makes it nice if I am at work and we need milk, bread, etc, I can transfer the money.

    As far as reimbursing him for those trips, I will see how often I am asking and if a trip or two a week, maybe $5 added to say if it is groceries for gas for the week (we are close to the store). I don’t reimburse for time. I also pay for his insurance right now.

    He had a summer job that is over and is looking for a part-time job so that he can pay for his own running around and help with his insurance.

So, what do you think ?