Seems like it was only yesterday she was driving a Big Wheel around the yard. Suddenly, she's 16 and in her own car. While not an essential for every teenager, a set of wheels can ease the burden on the family's regular driver. It can also be very expensive for a teenager to drive. Not only is there the cost of the car itself, but also there are ongoing costs including gas, insurance, maintenance and the seemingly inevitable accident.
Talk to your teen ahead of time about a car. You'll want to get some things out in the open too, such as who will pay for the car, what kind of car is in the budget and who is responsible for things like insurance, gas and upkeep.
An extra driver in the family can help everybody out -- from running errands to picking younger siblings up at school -- but make sure your teenager understands the costs and responsibilities, and be sure to plan for it financially before her 16th birthday.