Doper Parents: Some advice on new drivers, please

So my eldest daughter has recently joined the ranks of both licensed drivers and the employed. Mrs. tgkk and I feel that she should contribute towards the care and feeding of the family vehicles. My daughter wants to this on a “per mile” basis, as soon as we figure out what the cost per mile will be (figure in insurance, car payment, maintenance, etc.). My question to others in this situation: Do you have your kids help cover the vehicle costs, and if so how? Thanks for the input.

When I got my license, I was expected to pay for some of the gas - basically for what I used (I often put in 5-10$ a week). I didn’t count per mile, I just sort of took a guess based on the height of the needle on the gauge. Thing is, although I often had the car, I didn’t go all that far, only about 20km round trip to the part of town I hung out in, and dind’t drive around town too much once there. I also drove my sister around a LOT (she was heavily involved in sports and theatre - I’ve never known a play rehearsal to end when they said it would), so there was no real requirement for me to put in gas if I was doing that, though I often did (because I was a good kid!)

If that’s the kind of driving your daughter will do, then I would just tell her to put in a few bucks a week, rather than counting miles (because really, are all drivers of the car going to remember to flick that odometer switch or check the mileage every time they use the car to figure out who owes what in gas?)

As for insurance, my parents didn’t require me to pay my own, but that was because when I lived at home I was the 4th driver in the family, occasional on all 3 cars, and since I’m female, my premiums were 0.00$. I may have paid for an oil change or two, but I don’t remember for sure. The running errands and picking up my sister deal really contributed a lot to my parents not asking for too much money in return. When I moved out and went to university, my dad kept my tax returns in exchange for the cost of insurance (it wasn’t quite balanced, but close enough for us). Now that I’ve graduated, and have a full-time job, I pay everything myself, 100%.

I am completely aware of just how generous my parents were in this respect (but did I mentioned I chauffeured my sister a lot?) Negotiate with your daugher, and settle on an arrangement that works well for all of you financially and in terms of convenience.

Oh, and she’s more important than the car. Always remember that - sounds obvious, but parents and teenagers tend to take this whole thing seriously and forget the obvious :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m not a parent, but when I got my license, I didn’t have any formal arrangement with my folks. But there was an unspoken rule that whenever I used the car, I would fill it up with petrol (even if it was just a top up), and there was also the expectation that I would ferry my younger siblings around and take some of that load off my parents.

Later, when my little sister also got her license the deal changed to a per kilometre rate. I think they just took the tax office rate - which if I recall correctly is 51 cents per km.

We supplied the clunker and our kids paid for their gas usage plus 1/2 of the insurance (incentive based for no tickets or accidents). If their grades dropped below a C average, the lost use of the car until we saw written proof that their grades had improved.

If they ran a lot of errands for us, occasionally we would toss them our American Express and give them a tank of gas on us.

Once they were out of school and before they moved out, we helped with a down payment on a new/used car (we had to approve model, make and year) we cosigned their first auto loans. Afterwhich, they were on their own.

TeenSthrnAccent pays his own insurance premiums. He is on our policy but he pays the increased amount upon adding him to our policy.

He mainly shares my vehicle, though now and then he takes his dad’s truck if that is more convenient for us. If he’s just getting to school and work we don’t worry about him paying for the fuel as those are places we’d be driving him anyway. However, he is expected for dates and outings with friends that if they want to take the Villager, they must fuel up. Addtionally, when he and his friends want to go boating they must offer to buy the gas for the boat and treat Dad to lunch.

He also pays his share of the cel phone bill.

No kids here but I can tell you what my parents did for me.

I was fortunate enough to have my own car to drive. The deal was that I had to keep my grades up and the driving record clean and they would pay for the car insurance. But I was responsible for buying gas, my own spending money and even buying my own clothes. Didn’t have to worry much about maintenance as my dad was a car freak and all I ever had to pay for was for the parts, oil, etc. I got licensed right out of my sophomore year so I had 2 years of this free ride. But as soon as I graduated the title to the car was put in my name and I had to get my own auto policy and pay for my own insurance as well.

It worked well for us and taught me some responsibility. I work for an insurance company and am amazed at how many out there either don’t have auto insurance or have gaps in coverage. It was ingrained in me that it is very important to have. I have been insured with the same insurance company since the day I began to learn how to drive and it blows my mind to realize that I have been driving for more years than not. Yikes!

Kids have money in order to have fun… so don’t drain 'em too much with gas and insurance stuff.

My parents basically got me to buy food and stuff for the house (their money) and drive my brothers around. I was only studying too… couldn’t pay for the gas.

I humbly submit to you these words of parenting advice…

Make her pay.

For gas, for insurance, for maintainence, for inspections, for the whole nine yards. She is far more likely to make considered choices if her money is wrapped up in the results. Taking off for the beach for a couple of days with some joker? Much less likely to do it if she has to pay close to $2 a gallon to do so. Careless or reckless driving habits? If it’s her insurance that’s going to go through the roof is she gets a ticket or has an accident, she’ll think twice.

I cannot stress this enough. Kids cannot learn to make good decisions if they never get a chance to make ANY decisions. They cannot learn to be independent adults if they are over-dependent children. Think about the kind of adult you want your daughter to be. Then decide how best to get her there.

That’s my 2 cents worth anyway…

(BTW, when did they do away with the cents sign on the keyboard? I just discovered it’s missing.)

What wonder9 said.