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Old 06-09-2008, 02:11 PM   #21
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Perhaps you can let her handle this herself, but ask her to let you know before she actually commits to a car. Then, if it turns out that the car she's going to buy seems dangerous, you step in and say you'll help her get a safer car.

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Old 06-09-2008, 03:01 PM   #22
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The most effective, and least used, safety feature of an automobile is the driver...

Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:02 PM   #23
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My parents bought me a brand new 1973 VW beetle on the condition I go to college. I finally flunked out of high skule at the age of 19 and moved from NY to VA to be with my then GF (now wife of 32 years). I was working for $2.00 per hour as a farmhand. I had no money to eat (was a diabetic). I was rated "The smartest person who ever attended this school" by my high school guidance counselor. (I'm not so smart anymore - after 48 years of type 1 diabetes damage I have vascular dementia and that mostly affected my short term memory. I'm on LTD.)

As I was straightening up a fence post bent over to about 45 degrees by horses who just *had* to get to the grass on the other side of the fence, a veritable shitload of yellow jackets flew out and stung me on the head.

I immediately went back to my boss inside and said "I quit." (Politely) He said sure, I'll see you tomorrow. I said no, really, I quit forever. He mentioned that he had wondered how long I'd last.

I called my father and said "I'm ready to keep my end of the bargain about going to college."

Second best decision I ever made. I don't think they give LTD to farmhands...

Mike D.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:59 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by HFWR View Post
The most effective, and least used, safety feature of an automobile is the driver...
And the most unreliable part is the nut that holds the steering wheel.
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:22 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by HFWR View Post
The most effective, and least used, safety feature of an automobile is the driver...
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
And the most unreliable part is the nut that holds the steering wheel.
How true.

Many would consider me an Uncle Scrooge. I waited until my son was a senior and my daughter a sophmore in college prior to buying a car for them to share. It was a 1976 Comet coupe that cost $30. I replaced the brake shoes, rebuilt the master cylinder, rebuilt the carb, changed hoses and belts, tuned it, changed the various fluids and filters. It was not pretty, but it was mechanically safe.

When my son graduated and received his commission, I gave him by 13 yr old Buick Skylark which he drove for 3 years before buying a new Honda. When my daughter graduated, she bought a 4 yr old Ford Escort for $3,800. We chipped in $1,000.

When it comes to material possessions, I do not believe in spoiling my children. I believe that sends the wrong message.
Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. That's my story and I am sticking to it.
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Old 06-14-2008, 08:21 PM   #26
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Thanks again to all for the replies and opinions. Accept my apologies in advance for the "omnibus reply."

What we ended up doing: We had a little talk pretty much along the lines Nords had proposed. "We're happy that you are diligently working toward a goal. . . we want you to have a safe, reliable car . . . we want to work with you if you want our help. Here are our interests/goals:
a) Understand how having a car fits into your larger plans
b) If you need a car, that you get a safe one
c) If you need a car, that you get a reliable one.
What we proposed:
1) No strings attached: Our expertise/opinions/travel with you to look at cars. A 30 day subscription to Carfax.
2) If you buy a car with a side-curtain airbag, we'll pay $500 of the cost.
3) If you'll go farther to help meet our concerns a-c above, we'll help more with the purchase price. We'll pitch in $2 (up to $2500) for every dollar you pay for the car if you'll do the following (highlights):
- Build projected monthly budgets for the next 12 months . Why: See Interest A above. Truthfully, I think she's living in the moment and hasn't taken the time to look ahead at what her living costs are going to be in her apartment and with a car. Is there room for her to save for tuition?
- Schools: Research the available cosmetology schools/courses and explore their payment plans. Include these costs in you budget. (We left open the possibility of our financial assistance, but based on our previous experience we want her to share in the costs and we want to pay as we go--no big up-front scam-school fees, thank you).
- "A Teenager's Guide To The Real World:" Two copies are on order, we'll be reading and discussing selected bits.
- Car: Matching funds are available for purchase of cars rated "green" or "blue" in the "weight" and "overall safety" columns of the charts. This equates to a car weighing 3000#+ and which has good crash performance. The car also has to be reliable: Do the Consumer reports research and let us go with you to look at it. We'll pay for a mechanic to look it over if we agree that it is a good candidate.
- Other costs: We'll pay for 50% of the first 6 mos insurance. Aside from this, all costs are hers.

I think things are going well. She was planning to spend $700 to $900 on the car. She's been looking at the ads for awhile, so she appreciates the fact that she can now pitch in $1250 and buy a car worth up to $4250 (after the airbag $$ and the matching funds). She knows that this will be a better car, and she expressed her appreciation for the offer. The ball is in her court now. Based on my scan of Craigs List and the classified, I think she can find a good candidate car if she shops carefully. I'm hoping for a hailstorm to increase the number of safe, reliable cars in her price range.

Want2retire: We're concerned, too, that she might try to get by without insurance, that's why we're involving ourself in that cost, at least in the beginning. If DD had a year of solid college grades under her belt and was working part time, we'd buy her an inexpensive but safe car outright (as you did). Unfortunately, that's not where we are.

Patrick: The late-model Volvos are pricey, but older ones can be had for a reasonable price. They are definitely safe cars, though I do wonder about maintenance costs. Looking at the crash test site for Fords Ford Crash-Test Results, Ford Safety Information, Ford Insurance Data, NHTSA, IIHS, NCAP, Mustang, Crown Victoria, Focus, Escort, Contour, Aspire, Tempo, LTD, Thunderbird, Probe, Festiva, ZX2, I was surprised that the Crown Vic doesn't come out better--nice and heavy, but those built before '04 only rated "marginal" overall. It's a little hard to see why '92-'03 didn't score better.
Leonidas: Thanks. I hope your son decides to make the most of his educational opportunities, it sounds like he's on the right vector. This whole experience has been very tough on DW and I (there's lots of stuff not germane to the present car situation I didn't include, you should all be thankful!). We've learned that much is out of our hands or even our influence and that DD has now enrolled herself in the real-world action--> consequence curriculum. The tuition can be very expensive.
Caroline: We're trying to encourage the purchase of a safe car while also retaining the other valuable lessons that will be lost if we just make it a gift. I hope we're doing the right thing-thanks for the best wishes.
TexasProud--You can see our course is similar to the one you'd take.
Chinaco and T-Al: She's impulsive. She already signed a lease for an apartment without kicking the idea around with us, and she bought one car on her own (used money she'd saved for college) without allowing us to help. That car was totaled in a wreck within three months (not solely her fault, but . . .). So, if we'd waited to engage, I'm fairly sure I'd come home to find she'd bought an '86 Yugo one afternoon.
Nords: I bought the Marshall Brain books--The tone may turn her off, but I'll feel better for having exposed her to his ideas. I did a little digging around for an appropriate non-parental mentoring opportunity, haven't found one yet. What I'd love to find is someone to take her deliberately and non-emotionally through most of the big choices and the real-world ramifications. A life-skills mentor and coach. Surely there's a market for this service. Maybe parents could just swap kids once the progeny stop listening to the set of parents they were originally issued.

Again, thanks everyone. I'll check back in with updates as the saga continues.
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
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Old 06-14-2008, 10:41 PM   #27
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Very nice Sam. It sounds like you guys had a good conversation, said things that needed to be said and mapped out a joint plan. My best wishes for success.
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Maybe parents could just swap kids once the progeny stop listening to the set of parents they were originally issued.
Probably make a good television show: "Parent Swap"

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