Car for my son

hi, i was thinking about getting my son a 2000 MR2 toyota which is a convertible or a mini cooper. Im scared that he will be made fun of if people you think its an good first car for a 16 year old

The MR2, definitely not; the standard Mini Cooper (not the “S” model) is better. By all means don’t get him a new car. Teenagers go through a learning curve that usually involves a few dents!

The best car would be a used Chevy Cobalt you can buy for very little and write off if anything happens.

You will pay huge insurance bills for a 2 door sporty car. Teenage boys have no ability to judge risk, so don’t get them a sporty car. We got ours a used Subaru Forester, very practical, very safe (great crash ratings). Let him buy himself a sporty car when he can afford it.

Rather than being scared that your son “will be made fun of”, you should be concerned with his safety. Since adolescents almost always lack the judgment to stay out of dangerous situations with their cars, you should be focusing on a car with maximum safety/minimum power and minimum sex appeal. Instead of an MR2 or a Mini, you should be looking at cars like a Buick Regal, a Ford Taurus, or a Ford Crown Victoria.

I would like you to ask yourself:
Am I my son’s parent or am I his best friend?

Hopefully you want to assume the role of parent, which is inconsistent with “best friend”.
Best friends worry about ridicule over the status of an adolescent’s car.
Parents worry about the safety of their child and the vehicle in which he/she rides.

Ideally, a 16 or 17 year old should have to buy his own car, rather than having one grow from his right foot simply because he is of the age when he can obtain a driver’s license. I say that because adolescents DO NOT value cars or other material things that are given to them. Only if their own money is involved are they concerned with preserving the condition of the car or other material object. In other words, their thought process (unconsciously) is:
"If I wreck this one, my parents will buy me another."
That is not the formula for a child’s safety or for the longevity of a car.

If it is not feasible for him to buy his own car, you can at least try to exercise maximum parental judgment by buying him a car that is the ultimate in safety, rather than the ultimate in the coolness factor.

I speak from the background of someone who spent 34 years as a high school educator, and I can tell you that the statements that I made above are based on the observation of–quite literally–THOUSANDS of student/parent relationships and the problems that resulted from adolescents being provided with “cool” cars. The problems (both academic and in terms of safety) that resulted from your approach were…massive, to say the least.

“Im scared that he will be made fun of if people you think its an good first car for a 16 year old”

I’d be worried that he couldn’t take the razzing. I was known as Cadillac Jack because I drove my Mom’s 1964 Model 62 sedan. I can’t say that it bothered me at all. All teens are made fun of by someone. It’s just part of growing up. And it’s good training for becoming an adult, where there is always someone mocking you. It will be with him, and all of us, for as long as we live.

Definitely not the MR2.

Neither. Insurance will be exhoribitant for good reason, there is high chance it will be in an accident(likely small).

It sounds like both you and your son run in a “status conscious” crowd. If that is the case, you came to the wrong place for advice. I don’t want to scare you away, but you will get some answers you didn’t expect.

For what it is worth, I think you should buy your son the safest, most underpowered car you can find. He won’t appreciate it, but it beats the guilt you fill feel if you buy him something sporty and he ends up hurting himself or someone else. Of course, I don’t know your son. He might be a mature responsible young man.

When I was 16 years old (in 1987), my father went out and bought a pea green 1969 Dodge Dart for $1,200 for me to drive. I was just happy to have something with four wheels. I eventually came to appreciate the bench seat where my girlfriend could sit close, and the AM radio exposed me to classic rock, blues, and soul music. I may not have fully appreciated it at the time, but now I realize it was the perfect car.

My two daughters drove old stick shift Volvo 240s when they were in high school.

Underpowered, so they were not tempted to drive too fast, designed to understeer so they 'lead with their nose if they go off the road, and strike any obstacle with the Volvo-designed energy-absorbing front end.

The cars were simple and easy to work on. The girls changed their own oil and rotated their own tires and helped me with more involved repairs.

I saved money on gasoline because they did not want to take their friends to go ‘riding’ around in their cars, but when they needed to go somewhere, their cars would carry four friends and lots of equipment safely and reliably. Insurance was cheap too.

In college, when they had proven that they could care for a car and could drive safely, they got to turn in the Volvos and inherit their parent’s matching 328 BMWs.

When I was in high school, one of my classmate’s dad gave him a really cool car - a late model convertible Ford. I was driving my dad’s pickup at the time. A few months later, my friend slid off an icy road and died with a brace rod from his convertible roof skewered through him.

Mini-Cooper…True story…Happened about a month ago on the way to work.

I’m in the right lane on I-93 about a mile from my exit. I’m toward the left side of the lane (maybe 2’ from the line). There’s a truck in front of me about 70’ ahead…who’s in about the same position as I am in the lane. However there’s a mini-cooper between me and the truck ahead of me, and he’s way to the right…In fact only his left wheels are in the lane. We’re traveling about 30mph.

Along comes this idiot in a F350 doing about 70 who just has to exit NOW…and crosses over 3 lanes directly in front of me…With the mini being all the way over to the right and being such a small car…the idiot driving the F350 didn’t see the mini…I saw it happening…so I slammed on my brakes…the F350 smashed into the mini (actually almost whet OVER the mini)…No other cars were involved…the mini driver had to be air-lifted to Boston General…But he turned out OK…

Check your insurance first, they’ll tell you some good choices for their first vehicle should be. My first car at 16 was a car that was as old as me, a 1980 Dodge Champ(think Chevy Chevette). I didn’t really care about driving at that age, and waited until I was 19 to get my license.
Expect to pay atleast $1000 every 6 months for EITHER vehicle, regardless of their grades, etc.