There comes a time when the kids are ready to hit the open road and buy their own car.
There comes a time when the kids are ready to hit the open road and buy their own car. lzf

COLUMN: Pitfalls of buying the first car

THERE comes a time in every parent's life when your child declares they're ready to hit the open road and will need their own wheels. As a father, I've recently had the pleasure of that terrifying adventure.

It started with my daughter sending me a few online links to cars she'd been eyeing off, asking for my advice and preference.

Once we'd researched online reviews and trawled through the classifieds we decided to try a private seller first.

The private cars had been detailed and looked great at first glance, but a closer inspection revealed some interesting home truths.

One had hail damage and another's history check identified it as a repairable write off. It's worth remembering, private sales rarely include a warranty.

So we headed to a dealer instead, trying both manual and automatic cars before settling on a Hyundai Getz for my daughter to drive.

The salesman tried to up-sell window tint, insurance and extended warranty, but after we read the terms and conditions we declined because it had restrictive servicing requirements.

With the flurry of a pen, and subject to a satisfactory vehicle inspection, the contract was signed.

Now's the really terrifying part - letting my daughter loose on the open road. Wish me luck.

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