Teenage Driver’s Expenses

My daughter has recently gotten her driver’s license. (Yeah!) Knowing that this was coming, I though long and hard about how involved I was going to be in financing her and her brothers’ auto expenses. I decided not at all. I have recently returned to full-time work to pay for college expenses. I am saving $1,000/month or $12,000 per year for the next 10 years for college. I estimate the routine operation and maintenance for a vehicle to be about $3-4,000/year. That’s what I have spent on my paid-for car, on average, for the last 4 years. Coming up with this extra money would not be easy.

Besides, it really is not burdensome for me to drive the kids around. We have some of our best conversations in the car.

Their father has several used vehicles, and offered to sell one to the kids.  I am OK with this idea. He called me last weekend asking me to split insurance and gas expenses. He lives about 30 miles from here, so it is more of a problem for him to run the kids to their activities.

I said, “No, thank you.”

He stressed the importance of the kids continuing their activities vs. getting a minimum wage job to pay for the $1600 yearly insurance for our daughter. When our son gets his licence next year, his insurance will be more than that. Their father plans to put the kids on his insurance, which gets them discounts. I agreed that the activities were important and would likely end up providing more money for college than a job. But, “No, thank you.”

He mentioned that I would not have to drive the kids up to his place again. I told him that it was not burdensome for me to do so. I told him that the child support that I have received for the past ten years was a help to our budget, but certainly did not cover even half of the children’s expenses and that “Thank you very much, no,” I was not paying for a car or any part of a car for the kids.

He asked if I thought that he would be spoiling them if he paid for it. I said, “No, if this was something that you wanted to provide for them as their father, I am OK with it.”

The kids are big bike riders (all get themselves to school this way on an average day.) Bike riding is something that I would like to encourage as it is good for the environment and good exercise.

So for now this big question is settled.

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