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View Poll Results: which car should I let my kid drive?
Let her drive the Miata!! 14 31.82%
Sell the Miata and buy a HumVee or a 'safe' practical car 16 36.36%
tell her to take the bus or still haul her tush around like a good dad. 14 31.82%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-31-2011, 08:42 AM   #21
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Not the Miata. Have you checked insurance on a teenager (though I assume a daughter is still less exp than a son)? I voted for the second but I would not put her in a Hummer, that's over the top. A safe, reliable midsized car should be fine as most others have suggested.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:03 AM   #22
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I'd get her into the biggest, heaviest, monster vehicle I could afford. Humvee, International CXT (world's biggest production pickup truck but gets 6 mpg) '72 Lincoln, etc.

Here's a link to an article on the truck: International CXT, World's Biggest Production Pickup - First Look - Motor Trend News. But that's if money is no object.

Either that or a Schwinn bicycle.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:05 AM   #23
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Safety in an accident.....would be my first concern. The idea of my daughter in a sporty light weight car at age 16 gave me chest pains. So....she got my much used Nissan Pathfinder SUV. I got the new car . She did fine. No real accidents although it got dinged up some.
On the other hand our sons ended up with sports cars (not much I could do about that). Multiple accidents...deer and animals in the road, careless driving...etc.

Just remember she will be on highways with huge semi trucks. It is as much about "the other guy" or "animal".....as it is what your daughter may do.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:22 AM   #24
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In 1995 I bought a 1994 Ford Tempo for my daughter to take to college. It was the least I could do since she had earned a full academic scholarship. She drove the Tempo until last month. It had become unreliable. She had had to have it towed 4 times this year. Last month she paid cash for a 2010 Honda Civic and she donated the Tempo to Kidney Kars. I think she's well on her way to FIRE.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:41 AM   #25
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Having been a kid, no way on the Miata. I'd suggest a 10 year old Crown Victoria. And take out the back seat.
So, what does her boyfriend drive?

I would say that is where the "danger" lies (as a once 16 yr old male, I can make that statement with personal history )...

As for me? I would recommend the Miata. I know that it is not the position most would take in trying to "protect" their child, but than again I'm an old phart that purchased his "sports car" (Mustang GT vert) in his mid 50's (no, I was not having a mid-life crisis - I was beyond that age), I did have a desire to drive something that I didn't have the opportunity to do so, at the time that I could persue those things I could not do at an earlier age.

Just my simple POV...
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:42 AM   #26
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In 1995 I bought a 1994 Ford Tempo for my daughter to take to college. It was the least I could do since she had earned a full academic scholarship. She drove the Tempo until last month. It had become unreliable. She had had to have it towed 4 times this year. Last month she paid cash for a 2010 Honda Civic and she donated the Tempo to Kidney Kars. I think she's well on her way to FIRE.
Smart girl! Congratulations to you for having such a fine person as your daughter!
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:19 AM   #27
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Easy choice, an older Buick Lesabre. The 3800 motor runs forever, gets 30 on the highway, has a big trunk, is heavy, and low insurance. Besides, its not "cool" so no drag races on the local highways......
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:28 AM   #28
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The Miata is too small and too cool for a HS girl. But if you worry that she will wreak the car, then a Humvee-type vehicle is probably not the way to go either. If she wreaks it, such a heavy car will protect her but is sure to do a lot of damage and harm to others (plus it screams money, so watch out for the $$$ lawsuit). Why not go with a middle of the road sedan. Not glamorous, but solid and reasonably heavy.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:23 AM   #29
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Put her in a used white Camry.
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:12 PM   #30
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An extra thought for those who wouldn't let her drive the Miata: you're going to have to say "no, because", which kind of implies "no, until...". So as a minimum you'd need to come up with some conditions under which you'd let her drive it: say, 3,000 miles completed in another car, or reaching a certain birthday, unless you're from the "because I say so, until I change my mind" school of parenting, which we all promised ourselves we'd never copy from our parents, right?

I also presume that there are people here who would never themselves drive anything as "dangerous" as a Miata. I imagine that their attitude to the poll may be influenced by this...
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:24 PM   #31
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An extra thought for those who wouldn't let her drive the Miata: you're going to have to say "no, because", which kind of implies "no, until...". So as a minimum you'd need to come up with some conditions under which you'd let her drive it: say, 3,000 miles completed in another car, or reaching a certain birthday, unless you're from the "because I say so, until I change my mind" school of parenting, which we all promised ourselves we'd never copy from our parents, right?

I also presume that there are people here who would never themselves drive anything as "dangerous" as a Miata. I imagine that their attitude to the poll may be influenced by this...
A Miata is a dangerous car for a newer driver with little experience.......
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:48 PM   #32
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A Miata is a dangerous car for a newer driver with little experience.......
Have you driven one ? A 1994 Miata is not a powerful car at all.

Or did you mean that in the sense of "better not our 7-year-old son play with this fine new train set, he might scratch it, I'll just check it out for a bit" ?
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:49 PM   #33
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I also presume that there are people here who would never themselves drive anything as "dangerous" as a Miata. I imagine that their attitude to the poll may be influenced by this...
We have driven Miatas for 10 years. They are good cars and I don't feel unsafe driving them.

But I think that, on US roads that are dominated by huge motor vehicles, driving a Miata may be nerve-wracking for an unexperienced driver. The older Miatas felt especially low to the ground to me (the newer models less so).
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:05 PM   #34
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But I think that, on US roads that are dominated by huge motor vehicles, driving a Miata may be nerve-wracking for an unexperienced driver.
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:08 PM   #35
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Hmmm - have you asked your Daughter which car she prefers? Surely by driving age she has achieved some level of judgement. Lay out the pros and cons including insurance, etc, of each choice and see what she picks.

heh heh heh - 1959 Interstate 5 south of Seattle our 'family' 1955 Pontiac Chieftan got over 100 mph. Went to traffic school for 6 months. Real driving career started at 16 1/2.

But then again I'm male, own a few good stocks, while retirement big dog is a lifecycle index fund.
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:08 PM   #36
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I vote for the Miata. If my son and daughter were younger and still at home I would feel totally comfortable letting them drive my '97 Miata (manual with 32k miles). Your reasoning sounds valid to me. I must be in the minority - besides not wrecking my 1st car, I still have yet to wreck any car (or truck).
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:20 PM   #37
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heh heh heh - 1959 Interstate 5 south of Seattle our 'family' 1955 Pontiac Chieftan got over 100 mph. Went to traffic school for 6 months. Real driving career started at 16 1/2.
The 1st time I met a police officer on official business I was driving my dad's 1956 Pontiac Safari wagon (like the Chevy Nomad). (And he wasn't just any police officer, he was the Captain of the State Patrol for Eastern Washington.) As he was starting to write the citation, he realized he knew my father. Well. no citation but he told me to have my dad call him the next day. Short story - paying the citation would have been much less painful.
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:26 PM   #38
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I have to disagree with BigNick on this one. Sort of. He may be right! Depends on your daughter. My dad had a 76 Vette sitting around the house when I learned to drive. At no time did I ever think that car would be mine to drive. And Dad didn't have to give me a justification. It was his car. I had my own 1976 Monte Carlo to drive.

Also-put me down in favor of her not getting the Miata. The first car should be something no one cares about. It is likely to get trashed.

PS-25 years later and Dad and I still have the same cars! And... I still don't get to drive the Vette very often. Dammit!

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An extra thought for those who wouldn't let her drive the Miata: you're going to have to say "no, because", which kind of implies "no, until...". So as a minimum you'd need to come up with some conditions under which you'd let her drive it: say, 3,000 miles completed in another car, or reaching a certain birthday, unless you're from the "because I say so, until I change my mind" school of parenting, which we all promised ourselves we'd never copy from our parents, right?

I also presume that there are people here who would never themselves drive anything as "dangerous" as a Miata. I imagine that their attitude to the poll may be influenced by this...
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:37 PM   #39
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hakuna matata, looks like the poll is an almost even split among the three choices. Please let us know which way you end up going - and when she has her first fender-bender.
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:02 PM   #40
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As to which car she 'wants' to drive. First the Miata, then the truck. She likes the truck but she really likes the size of the Miata. She has driven the Miata exclusively the last 2 months or so since I taught her to drive the stick as I felt she should drive the car she was going to take the drivers test in so that it was comfortable. Personally after being in both vehicles with her, I feel she is a better driver in the Miata than the truck. She knows where the 'edges' of the car are in the Miata whereas the truck just seems huge around her. She also wanted a VW bug but again I don't need another car and I am not planning on buying her one. She is free to use one of the vehicles at our house (with the exception of the BMW!).

If you have driven a Miata you will understand that it responds instantly. You have to pay attention and you have to be in control of the car. I agree it isn't powerful, but it is responsive. One of the things she has mentioned is that it seems like you are going faster than you really are going. She was driving at 35 and she thought she was going 45! You just seem like you are moving faster than you really are.

I should also point out we live in a very rural area, so no freeway driving, etc. She would be driving mainly to and from school, about 6 miles each way. The town we live in is less than 10,000 people. Speed limits are 25-45 for most of her travel time.

Interesting that the poll is evenly divided. I know I will likely end up letting her drive the Miata but we will see.
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