Here’s a finding that will surprise nobody: 76% of teens say they’re ready for a car, while 85% of parents disagree.
This comes from independent research conducted for Junior Achievement & American Honda Finance Corporation.
The discord may lie in the fact that 86 percent of teens feel that parents should help them with automobile expenses such as insurance, repairs, and gas, while 91 percent of parents believe assistance is unreasonable.
According to the results, nearly one-fourth of teens expect a car with their cap and gown following graduation.
At the same time, 61 percent of parents expect their teen to complain about the financial upkeep of a car within 30 days of getting their vehicle.
“When it comes to newly licensed drivers, in addition to important discussions about distractions and curfews, parents should rev up the car talk about the financial aspects of car ownership,” said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and chief executive officer of Junior Achievement USA. “It’s a great way to prepare them for future financial security both on and off the road.”
Interestingly, 61 percent of parents say that a car is a more effective means of teaching kids financial responsibility than a credit card.
To that end, 96 percent of parents say they would only help their teen buy a car if they first demonstrated responsibility, such as by preparing a budget to pay for expected and unexpected expenses, having a certain amount of money saved or explaining what is required to buy a car.
A third JA-AHFC survey conducted among young adults ages 18-25 may reveal the truth about teens’ financial understanding.
According to this more mature cohort, looking in the rearview mirror, 73 percent admit they did not understand the financial responsibilities of owning a car when they were in high school.
And, with age, comes wisdom.
Ninety-three percent of these young adults are confident that they fully understand the financial responsibilities of owning a car, and they turn to a wide variety of sources for information when considering purchasing a vehicle, including financial institutions, car dealers, online forums, magazines and social media.