Which car for sixteen year old?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Michael, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. Michael

    Michael Guest

    Dear Group,

    My daughter will turn sixteen, therefore resulting in a drivers license,
    next April. She presently has a learners permit and is actually a better
    driver than my wife.

    I have had six BMW's and presently own two mini vans (want to buy a 96 Sport
    model?), a 97 Volvo 960 (our first Volvo and presently @ 203,000 mls) and a
    84 BMW 633 CSi (my weekend car, five speed manual). My daughter wants a BMW
    and I want her to have a Volvo. I've wrecked or have been in wrecks with
    both the BMWs and the Volvo. Volvo is a much safer car, hands down, in a
    wreck. Almost fun to wreck a Volvo.

    Her high school lost four kids who were seventeen and eighteen this year to
    auto accidents. SUV's and small Japanese cars in all cases. SUV's are
    unstable on the road, IMHO, and the Japanese cars just don't do well in
    crashes. These kids just don't have the experience at driving. I want my
    daughter to call me to tell me she has wrecked the car and not get a call
    from the police to tell me my daughter is dead.

    The question is which Volvo should I start looking for? Five thousand is
    all I want to spend and she, of course, wants something "kewl". More is
    possible but not desired. We live in North Carolina, USA.

    This is a good kid who will probably get a full ride to any university she
    applies to so I want to keep her safe but also give her a car she will be
    proud of and want to keep through college. Convertibles and two doors are
    at the top of her list. A-1 Abrams are at the top of mine.

    Michael, Jul 7, 2004
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  2. Excuse me for this judgment, but what does (should) she have to say about

    You are buying the car, paying the insurance and letting her use it. Get a
    car you are comfortable with and she can use it, take her bike or walk.

    My daughter wanted a "muscle car". She got a 93 940T wagon. After a year she
    really appreciates the wagon. It handles well, has enough power, lots of
    room for "stuff" and lets me sleep at night.

    89 Mustang LX 5.0 vert
    95 Windstar
    55 VW Oval
    Howard Nelson, Jul 7, 2004
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  3. Michael

    Bonnet Lock Guest

    In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
    As a Brit, it horrifies me that kids are allowed to drive at 16 - and even
    start learning earlier than this. In UK you have to be 17 before getting
    behind the wheel on a public road. Some would argue that even this is too

    It horrifies even more that kids apparrently treat it as an inaliable (sp?)
    right to have "daddy" provide them with a car as soon as they are old enough
    to drive it.

    What's wrong with teaching them to stand on their own feet and to earn some
    money to buy their own expensive toys. Meanwhile, the use of feet and
    bicycles will keep them a bit fitter and less likely to go to an early grave
    due to the obesity epidemic which seems to be afflicting most of the world.
    Bonnet Lock, Jul 7, 2004
  4. Michael

    John in NH Guest

    It horrifies even more that kids apparrently treat it as an inaliable (sp?)
    I agree - that's total bullshit. I bought my first car myself - as well as
    every car thereafter. My kid will do the same.
    The biggest obstacle on the path to success is the stupidity of others.

    My eBay Stuff:
    John in NH, Jul 7, 2004
  5. Michael

    Randy G. Guest

    It is a bit different in the US- in GB, public transportation can
    serve you so well that it is possible to survive without a car at all.
    We got to spend a couple of days getting around in London and it was
    quite easy (I LOVE the 'Undeground'!).

    I have met 16 year olds responsible enough to drive a bus, and adults
    not mentally capable enough to operate tennis shoes.
    With this man's daughter being so acdademically involved, I doubt she
    would have had time for much of a job to earn enough for a car.

    But I do agree that it is a good lesson to teach kids- the looking
    forward to a goal and the responsibility of working and saving towards
    that goal. The further benefit is that they will tend to treat the car
    with more respect as they had a personal stake in its purchase.

    I have seen a BMW or two involved in an accident and would also rather
    my daughter be in a Volvo, if I had one (a daughter.. I already have a
    Volvo!). Maybe a nice 2 door 240 in white with a spoiler on the trunk
    and Piaa fog lights...?

    If your frined's judge your level of "cool" by the car you drive, then
    it's time to get new friends!

    DIfficult for me to say, though. We have no children. I was a teacher
    for 20 years, though. We like to say that if we would have had kinds
    when we got married they would have been out on parole by now! ;-)

    __ __
    Randy & \ \/ /alerie's
    '93 960 Estate
    Randy G., Jul 7, 2004
  6. Michael

    David Taylor Guest

    It is a bit different in the US- in GB, public transportation can
    Sorry but that shows a complete lack of knowledge of public transport in
    the UK! It takes longer, is stupidly more expensive, unreliable and
    doesn't serve where people need to go when they need to get there. The
    only place well served by public transport is inner London.
    There you go, now try "South of the river Thames" and see how far the
    underground gets tourists or residents. Answer, it doesn't. Try
    getting a cabbie to go "Sarf of the river mate?"
    Certainly, especially when it comes to that little thing called

    David Taylor, Jul 7, 2004
  7. Michael

    Bonnet Lock Guest

    In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
    There are plenty of places in the UK outside London where there is little or
    no public transport - but I STILL wouldn't advocate buying a car for a

    Quite apart from the question about the level of maturity required before
    being put in charge of a lethal weapon (and the OP seemed to regard a crash
    as inevitable - which is even more horrifying!) I was serious in my earlier
    reply about the obesity problem. If kids as young as 16 get used to going
    everywhere by car - even very short journeys - without having to exert any
    physical effort, the current younger generation will have a very low life
    expectency - and will probably be outlived by their parents.
    Bonnet Lock, Jul 7, 2004
  8. I agree: bus, walk or bike for 16 year old children, not over-engineered
    cars. They should be at home doing their homework not gallivanting
    around in cars.
    Geoff Pearson, Jul 7, 2004
  9. Michael

    Rob Guenther Guest

    The fact that she's 16 and has a car will pass for cool no matter what the
    car is, at least where I'm from (southern Ontario)... Hell even being able
    to drive your parents car to the movies is great around here for a 16 year

    Get another 960, or an 850 for her.... If she really wants 2 doors go on a
    mission for an old 780.

    I found with Volvo's you learn to respect them, then love them... eventually
    you think they are the best cars on the road - i'm 20, and i'd definately
    wouldn't be worried if I was seen in any Volvo... I love driving our 960
    Rob Guenther, Jul 7, 2004
  10. Michael,

    If you really think you can convince your daughter to drive a well serviced
    240, that would be my recommendation. If not, try to convince her that the
    940 is the coolest. She probably won't know the meaning of turbo, so you
    might get away with a non-turbo model, which is better for Dad in 3 ways:
    less expensive purchase, less expensive maintenance/repair, and slower/safer
    in hands of teenager.

    If the older 240 and 940 models look too "old school", a red 850 can look
    pretty sporty. You may find a red S70 (similar to 850 except newer) under
    $5k, but will have to hunt.

    These models are all safe. Avoid the turbos to keep the speeding down in
    neighborhood traffic. Good luck keeping your daughter happy and safe.

    Pat Q
    Pat Quadlander, Jul 8, 2004
  11. Michael

    psyshrike Guest

    Get a 240 with a sunroof and put in an awesome stereo. Then give her a
    huge gift certificate to a music store. Her friends would rather
    cruise comfortably listening to good music than be stuffed in the back
    of some rice rocket.

    In the USA, your kid can drive, or they will ride in the neighbors
    car, with the neighbors kid at the wheel. If your kid is responsible,
    getting them a safe car is probably safer than the alternative.

    Performance is relative.

    psyshrike, Jul 8, 2004
  12. Michael

    Doki Guest

    In London you can get by without a car. Here (middle of Britain), you NEED a
    car. Buses are infrequent / filthy / driven by madmen in my experience. That
    said, you can pick up good solid cars here for bugger all...
    Doki, Jul 8, 2004
  13. Michael

    Randy S Guest

    In the USA, your kid can drive, or they will ride in the neighbors

    That's the smartest thing posted in this whole thread.
    I'm now 26, living in Chicago, IL, and I've been driving for over 10 years now:
    got my permit at 15, license at 16, like most people in the U.S. I've never
    caused an accident, although I've been hit before (rear-ended twice,
    side-swiped once). I know it's easy to look back and think that "kids" at age
    16 don't have the respect, understanding or need for a vehicle, but times have
    changed. I was lucky enough to have my father pass on our 12-year-old 1983
    Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser Wagon to me when I turned 16, as he was getting a
    company car for his new job. Because I didn't have the nicest car in the high
    school parking lot, I strived to have the cleanest, with paint that looked like
    a show car, and a decent stereo (at least it played tapes, and wasn't just a
    radio). I washed the car weekly, waxed it monthly, and eventually sold it
    myself, and with money I had saved up through high school, bought myself my
    first *new* car to drive off to college in (good thing too, the station wagon's
    tranny was looking to quit). Anyway, the people on here who think
    16-year-olds can't handle responsibility or won't understand the value of
    buying your own car are jumping to conclusions. Like any demographic, there
    will be the smart, mature group, and the slackers born with silver spoons...
    I think the original poster knows his own child well enough to know that she
    needs a vehicle. If you can't post and help him choose a car, don't spew your
    soapbox opinions about who should or shouldn't be driving yet.

    Randy S, Jul 8, 2004
  14. Michael

    Rob Guenther Guest

    Wow, solid car, and install the good stereo... Going for nominations for
    father of the year?

    That's actually a really good idea... Get the kid a comfortable, safe,
    reliable car - that's slow as hell... And put a nice sounding stereo in it,
    that will make everyone think it's a good car, no matter how boxy and uncool
    your basic 240 is - hell my old 1991 VW Golf with 3 functional speakers
    (none of which were in the back) blown FM radio (don't worry, routed an FM
    capable walkman thru the cassette deck) and cramped back seat was thought to
    be a great car by my friends when I was 16/17ish (it was my dad's old
    commuter car..... I didn't get to drive around in our 960 regularly until I
    proved myself responsible... which I easily did - but they didn't want me to
    bring friends in it, because they would dirty up its near mint condition
    Rob Guenther, Jul 8, 2004
  15. Michael

    Rob Guenther Guest

    Cheers to that!
    Rob Guenther, Jul 8, 2004
  16. 850, some 940s or 960s, not 700 or 200 series. Why? Better side
    protection in cars with SIPS. Best to get a car with side air bags.

    Benjamin Smith, Jul 9, 2004
  17. Michael

    Michael Guest

    She's only fifteen but takes classes at Duke University each summer on
    scholarship. This kid I'll buy a car. She can already articulate the Otto
    cycle better than I can and I'm an ME. But for exactly the same reasons as
    you point out she isn't interested in a turbo.

    so you
    Thank you for answering the question and not pontificating about

    Limeys, we should have left them to their own devices and they would be
    speaking German now.

    That should really set them off. OK, so the troll in me came out.
    Michael, Jul 9, 2004
  18. Michael

    Michael Guest

    This is not southern Ontario.
    Thank you for a straight answer.
    Michael, Jul 9, 2004
  19. Michael

    Michael Guest


    I like that idea. Fantastic. Oh man that is great. Seriously!!
    Michael, Jul 9, 2004
  20. Michael

    G19 Guest

    The new S40's might fit the bill.

    If she insists on a convertible, you can't go wrong with a C70.
    G19, Jul 9, 2004
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