4 Reasons Not to Buy an Adult Child a Car

adult child car

Your child still lives at home. Unfortunately, your child is not a child anymore. What we wouldn’t give for an empty nest, right? This is a relatively new phenomenon; having children who don’t venture out on their own. But with this newness comes a host of problems we haven’t encountered before. Things like drawing boundaries and making house rules for an adult. Let me give you a little advice. Don’t make my mistake. Whatever you do, don’t buy your adult child a car.

  • Reason 1: They won’t appreciate it. You know that old saying about how people appreciate things they work for more than something that is given to them? Well, it is true. When you give them a car they will be thankful, I am sure, but in the long term they will expect you to continue giving them things, similar, expensive things. Entitlement issues abound.
  • Reason 2: They won’t take care of it. Another well-known saying tells about the care people put into things they purchase versus things they are given. Really, do you want to end up maintaining, washing, and repairing their car? No? Then let them get their own!
  • Reason 3: They won’t respect you. A car means freedom and freedom means making your own rules. If they have a vehicle of their own, what will motivate them to come home on time? I’m not saying that they have a curfew, but when you live with others you need to respect their needs as well. Needs like proper bed times and people not coming in and out of the house at all hours.
  • Reason 4: They won’t pay for it. Simple but true. You know how much a car costs, and it goes beyond the initial purchase. If you buy the car, are you also paying for the insurance and gas? The repairs and maintenance? What happens if they have an accident? Are you covering the deductible? Think about it, this is not just a one-time thing.

I know you love your child and want the best for them. I know it’s hard for them to become independent adults with a steady job if they don’t have reliable transportation. But they should be the ones worried about that, not you. You’re already providing room and board; don’t get sucked into thinking you need to keep helping them. Most people only learn through suffering. It is a bitter teacher, but the lessons are well learned.

Debra Johnson is a blogger and editor at Live In Nanny. If you’d like to send her a message or comment, she welcomes it at her email: jdebra84@gmail.com.

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