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Teens/young adults buying a car together--good idea or recipe for trouble?


6packofun
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I have 5 driving-age teens/young adults here and so far only the oldest has managed to pay bills AND save enough for an old, used car.  However, as slow as the saving process is here, 2-3 kids could combine funds and get a decent car, BUT I foresee all sorts of problems with that.  Mainly, the issues will be conflicting schedules and someone eventually feeling like they aren't getting the car as much as the other.  At least it seems like that would be a problem.  

 

Have any of your kids bought and shared a car with a sibling?  Parents will many times buy a car for kids to share (we just cannot since we need to replace dh's car--I posted about that) so I'm wondering if a shared car is our only option in the near future.  Hit me with some pros and cons.

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Whose name would be on the title of the car? If one of the kids was driving the car and got into an accident, but a different kid was listed as the owner of the car, couldn't that be a real problem for the "official" owner? Also, what would happen if one kid went away to college and wanted to take the car -- or wanted to be reimbursed for the money he or she contributed toward the purchase because they would no longer be driving the car? What would happen if some of the kids wanted to re-sell the car, but others didn't want to sell it? How would the kids decide who would get priority if they all wanted to use the car to go different places at the same time?

 

I can see the potential for many conflicts here.

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My husband either knows someone or heard about someone who went to jail because he bought in common with someone, went for his turn after the other person was not sharing as agreed, and then the other person called the police for theft because the other person's name was the only name on the lease.

 

So I guess make sure you have a firm agreement about how it will work ahead of time!

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Whose name would be on the title of the car? If one of the kids was driving the car and got into an accident, but a different kid was listed as the owner of the car, couldn't that be a real problem for the "official" owner? Also, what would happen if one kid went away to college and wanted to take the car -- or wanted to be reimbursed for the money he or she contributed toward the purchase because they would no longer be driving the car? What would happen if some of the kids wanted to re-sell the car, but others didn't want to sell it? How would the kids decide who would get priority if they all wanted to use the car to go different places at the same time?

 

I can see the potential for many conflicts here.

All of this. I wouldn't do it, especially for siblings. Married folks, sure.
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No,  I think siblings buying a car together is a awful idea.  I could only see this as maybe acceptable if it was twins who were going to go to the same college and really had things spelled out.  Otherwise I see all the problems Catwoman listed. 

 

A family car doesn't have the same issues because the parents are still in charge and the owners of the car.  Kids use the car based on parental permission and rules.  My youngest actually drives a car that is registered to my dh and me since we bought the car for her well before she turned 19 (she was 16).  We are still making payments and paying for insurance and she is still a dependent.  We will be signing off on the car to her probably when we get the title but not sure.  I am wanting to make sure she can stay on our insurance until she is no longer a dependent.

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It depends on the teens and how their relationship is. My two older boys did this. Sold their childhood toys on ebay and bought a car together. Shared it with zero problem for quite a few years. When they decided to each get their own cars with car payments they sold it and split the difference. My boys are super close though so maybe it would be different for someone else. I remembering thinking "what are you doing!?!?!" But then having it be a real blessing for them. However, these are a 24 and 23 year old who to this day still live together and work together (until one gets married next year!) So take my contribution to this discussion for what it is worth. I could have never shared a car with my sibling. It would have been a disaster.

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Oldest DS saved up his money and went half in on a car with us. Title was in DH’s name.

 

Oldest DS drove the car until he left for college. When he wasn’t using it, the car was available for his sister to use. When DS left for college, he passed the car down to DD.

DD drove the car for two years until she left for college. When she wasn’t using it, middle DS could drive it.

Middle DS drove the car for four years until we sold it. I had a new car and passed my old one down to DS.

 

DD16 uses my car or DS21’s car - whichever is available - when she needs to drive somewhere.

 

The arrangements worked because the oldest kid home had first dibs on the car.

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