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How to Afford a Car at 16 Years Old

by Chloe Zimmermann

If you want to be able to afford a car by the time you hit 16 years old, you'll need to get serious about setting goals and saving money. Cars are big-ticket items with ongoing maintenance costs, so it's important to be realistic about the cost of a car. Your first step will need to be to secure a job or source of income that will allow you to set aside money each week.

Research Car Costs

Step 1

Determine if you want to save for a new or used car.

Step 2

Finalize the expected price of the car you wish to buy.

Step 3

Decide how much money you will need to save for a down payment, lease payments or for the total purchase price of the car.

Step 4

Research insurance costs for the type of car you'd like to buy.

Arrive at a total goal amount for which you will save.

Set a Savings Timeline

Step 1

Work backwards from 16 years old to the age you are now and determine how much time you'll have to save.

Step 2

Break down the time before your 16th birthday into months, then weeks, to determine how much you must save per week.

Open a high-interest saving account and deposit money into the account as soon as you have it so it earns interest right away.

Expenses to Consider

Step 1

Consider how much money you will need for gas for your car.

Step 2

Be realistic about maintenance costs, such as windshield fluid, oil changes and other extras.

Save all gifts of money you get from birthdays, Christmas or from unexpected windfalls.

Tip

  • You will have to work hard and stick to your goals over a long period of time to reach your goals, and this will show a lot of responsibility to your family and friends. Consider asking your parents or close relatives to match your savings or "top up" your savings when you reach an agreed-upon, predetermined objective.

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