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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • check 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.

About the Author

Chloe Zimmermann has been writing professionally since 2000. She has expertise in the fields of health, parenting, gardening and home improvement. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Zimmermann holds a degree in English and a diploma in public relations.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera young woman and a car image by ta_samaya from Fotolia.com