48 answers

The Big Car Debate

Hi everybody!
We are having a pretty big argument in my house, and I would love your input.
When my daughter got her drivers license she drove my car some, and then my nephew sold me his car for $200 because he was getting a new one. The car was old and nothing fancy, but I figured since it was her first car and I was paying for it, it should be good enough to get her to and from school and she should appreciate having it. She didn't have a job at the time, but she had a pretty heavy class load at school so we agreed that if she kept her grades up that would be her "job" for the time being. I told her she could drive the car to and from school and sports, but it was not intended to go long distances or drive around a bunch of other kids. She has driven the car for the past two years and not put any money into it, not even gas or insurance. She has still driven my car often and even wrecked it once (which is why I wanted her first car to be a cheap one! She thought I was horrible for not getting her something better.
She got a job a few months ago, part time after school and I told her that if she wanted a better car she needed to start saving up some money for it. I told her I would help her look for one, but I wouldn't be paying for it. My dad is awesome at finding good cars at reasonable prices, but she didn't want anything to do with a used car. With college tuition and everything else I am trying to pay I can't buy myself a new car. let alone her. So my dad called me the other night and a good friend of his had purchased a new car and wanted to sell her old one. It runs great, looks good, and is better than the car I have now. I could afford to pay cash for it and I bought it. I said that both it, and my current vehicle could be considered family cars and either one of us could drvie them, but she is having a huge fit because she thinks I should give her the car. I offered to let her drive the car I have now, and she didn't think it was good enough.
So my question is this,...am I wrong in expecting her to get her own car? She is 18. I had a full time job and a checking account when I was 14. I offered to let her drive either car when she needs to until she gets her own, but I refuse to call the cars I have, "Her car." Did you have to buy your own car? She acts like I am the only mean mom in the world who would expect a kid to work for something they want and need.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all of the responses. My daughter is a good kid with good grades and big plans for her future. I just feel like as other's have said, the sense of entitlement is out of line. I want her to learn to be responsible and to know how to work for what she wants, so I guess I am going to stick to being the "meanest parent in the world" for a while. I love her enough to expect things from her. My mom taught me to do things for myself and I want my daughter to know what it feels like to accomplish something for herself. I have always tried to instill this in her, but for some reason the whole car issue seems to be the one big deal breaker for her.
Thanks for the support.

Featured Answers

So have you stopped laughing yet?? If I behaved this way I wouldn't get to drive ANY car and my parents probably would've taken away my DL. I'm sorry, but she is acting like a spoiled brat! She's 18 and should be acting like an adult not a 6 yo. I am not against a parent buying their kid a car, but when they behave this way, no way should they get a car.

If you want to really open her eyes and teach her a lesson, then sell the other two cars and keep the best one for you and you only! She's 18 and if she wants a NEW car, then she can go get herself financed. I am still baffled by her comment of wanting a new one and a used car isn't good enough for her. A new car...seriously???? How about a new bike, LOL!!!

7 moms found this helpful

Please do not give her another car. She will never learn the value of having a vehicle or anything else for that matter if she doesn't earn it herself. You have already given her more of a head start than many other parents are able to give with that 'beater'. And still she feels entitled to 'new'. Tell her it's called a beater because it beats walking. Harumph.

5 moms found this helpful

She needs to realize she is not a little girl anymore. I bought my own car when I was 18, and I was playing two college sports, had two part time jobs, paid for tuition myself, paid for my car payments, rent...

She needs to get over it. She is an adult and if she wants something, tell her to get it.

5 moms found this helpful

More Answers

After you stop laughing at her, let her know that you heard of someone who never got their own car until their senior year of college yet somehow managed to survive!

She has a few choices:
-Finance a car on her own and pay for it
-Borrow one of mom's cars when mom gives permission
-Sit at home and sulk

No you are not wrong at all...you are so right on the money with your thinking!

9 moms found this helpful

So have you stopped laughing yet?? If I behaved this way I wouldn't get to drive ANY car and my parents probably would've taken away my DL. I'm sorry, but she is acting like a spoiled brat! She's 18 and should be acting like an adult not a 6 yo. I am not against a parent buying their kid a car, but when they behave this way, no way should they get a car.

If you want to really open her eyes and teach her a lesson, then sell the other two cars and keep the best one for you and you only! She's 18 and if she wants a NEW car, then she can go get herself financed. I am still baffled by her comment of wanting a new one and a used car isn't good enough for her. A new car...seriously???? How about a new bike, LOL!!!

7 moms found this helpful

The way I handled for my son, made a deal with him. I was a single parent from time he was six months old, and for high school graduation, he knew I couldn't afford to "fund" him. He had worked since he was 14, mowing lawns, then when he was "of age" to have a real job, first was in grocery store, and he had responsibilities at home besides school, then by graduation, with only one car, he had to have transportation to college and work. We shopped for a brand new, few frills, (airconditioning), bought a new pick-up, manual transmission. The graduation gift, my Mom and I made the down payment, and the deal with him was, he had to make all the payments, I paid the insurance. His jobs and full time school, could not afford more.....
He made all payments, paid his own college tuition and books, while living at home, did all the yard work, even bought his own "commercial' lawn mower, and I thought he would never get "full time" work. At age 23, moved out on his own, nice apartment with another guy, completed his college while working two parttime jobs. One job became full time, then he did so well he became part owner of the company, (plus keeping the parttime job)was there a total of 9 1/2 years. I helped fund the ownership and he paid back in full. By time he was 30, afforded his first "starter" home, sold his part of the company for double what he paid. Now age 38, very successful, has wife, baby, owns home, pays all bills in full, does not pay interest on credit cards.......pays off each month. Totally knows value, if can't afford, don't buy, or buy interest free. He learned early on in his childhood, can't have everything you want. He kept that truck for 10 years, was able to have the "nice new car" when he could afford. He has had several new cars since and doesn't have a big income. The big pay off.....He knows money management, would rather have quality than quantitiy, can sleep at night knowing he isn't buried in debt, can enjoy finer things in life, not scrimping at every turn, planning for the future.
Stick to your guns, make her earn her way, don't just hand it to her.

6 moms found this helpful

I think you are absolutely right! Stick to your guns. She should work and save up for her own car. Why is she entitled to a nice car just because she was born? What would she learn by being handed such a thing?

I'm with you on this Momma, I think you're doing the right thing!

6 moms found this helpful

Yeah, see I would just take all the keys away, and tell her when she can afford a car, she can buy one of them from me.

My son is almost 15, should be getting his learner's permit this summer. He will need a car when he is 16. But, I will not be buying one, unless he already has the money for 6 months insurance saved up. He know this, it is his choice and he has a year to figure it out. Then he will be getting the most affordable, safest vehicle I can find for him, cause at that age, it ain't about having the cool car, it is about having the affordable car.

You are so not the mean Mom. You are a Mom who wants her child to learn responsibility and understand that certain things in life are earned, not privileges.

God Bless

6 moms found this helpful

My first car that was purchased expressly for my use was from my parents, it was a 1991 Ford Tempo, the year was 1995, I was 23 years old, I was in my second year of vet school, and I was happy to have it.

The first new car I bought on my own, financed with my own money, was when I was 28 and had been working as a veterinarian for 3 years. It was a 2001 Ford Focus.

I don't know what your daughter expects - that you are going to just get her a brand new car but not have one for yourself? She needs a serious reality check. Tell her she can save up her money for the down payment for a new car and see if she can finance the rest - then let her walk into any car dealership and see what they can do for her, depending on what her credit is like. My husband was a car salesman for years and used to get kids like her all the time. They wanted a brand new Mustang, or SUV, or whatever, but with practically no money up front, and crappy credit - oh wait, the monthly payments are how much? And then insurance is that much more?

I would just stand firm and tell her that unless she can somehow save 100% of the money she needs to buy a car outright, or get the financing she needs, she will be borrowing a car from you, and it will be whatever you feel is best - if she's not happy about, too bad. She doesn't like it - she can move out. And then be responsible for all of her own bills and expenses. So what if she thinks you are the worst mom ever - I say you are a far better mom to teach your daughter a valuable life lesson than to just hand over something to her that she has not earned.

5 moms found this helpful

She needs to realize she is not a little girl anymore. I bought my own car when I was 18, and I was playing two college sports, had two part time jobs, paid for tuition myself, paid for my car payments, rent...

She needs to get over it. She is an adult and if she wants something, tell her to get it.

5 moms found this helpful

You are not wrong in expecting her to buy her own car. Good gravy, you have been far more generous than I would have been. She wrecked your car and you are still making a vehicle available to her on your dime? AND you are paying her college tuition?!

I can't even tell you how hard I am shaking my head "no no no". Please go back and re-read your post. See how extremely generous you have been. I know you love your daughter very much, but please her to suck it up, get herself a job, buy her own car, pay her own insurance/gas/maintenence and be glad for what she has and Quit Complaining.

(When I was 18, I was working full time and was saving up money to move out. College wasn't even an option. Nor a car. My mother NEVER let me drive her car, not even for driving lessons. Your daughter sounds like she needs more opportunities to take care of herself.)

5 moms found this helpful

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