2018 Chevy Malibu vs. 2018 Toyota Camry

Congratulations. Your teenage child has completed driver’s ed and passed the licensing test as required by the state that you living in. And unless your child is a rare example of a self-motivated financial wunderkind, there is probably some expectation that you’ll be helping them to purchase their first vehicle. But even if you’re not expected to foot the bill in whole, you certainly have a vested personal interest in the vehicle which they choose.

As stated by Warren Clarke, an editor at edmunds.com, “One mistake that parents make is caving into their kids’ wishes for something flashy. You don’t want something with too much power, and you don’t need a new model to give them a safe driving experience.”

But have you done your homework? Have you examined every offering out there? In fact, how early are parents supposed to start their research, the ensure that the perfect vehicle is found? Here at The Lemon, we believe that there’s no such thing as ‘early enough.’ And as an industry-leading publication, we recommend that parents begin their rigorous investigation sometime around their child’s 9th birthday.

That said, if you’re shopping used vehicles for your newly-licensed 16-year old, this article probably isn’t for you. But if you’re interested in comparing the 2018 Chevy Malibu vs. 2018 Toyota Camry to determine which car will have aged better come 2027, well, you’re our kind of car-buyer.


Because THAT is the Problem Isn’t It?

As a parent, you’re expected to be ten steps ahead, at all times, using your life experiences to anticipate the obstacles that your child might be blind to.

Here you are, throwing your nine-year-old princess a ‘Monster High’ birthday party, with all of her friends on-hand to celebrate. She’s rocking that special dress that you bought just for the occasion, and even a birthday girl tiara. You almost can’t believe that she’s already nine! Where has time gone? And since time goes faster the older that you get, the next nine years will go even faster. The next thing you know, she’ll be dating, driving, graduating and off to begin her own life in one way or another. With that in mind, you need to be deciding which of today’s cars are the ones to keep your eyes on. But now that you’re thinking about it, you might want to keep your eyes on her friends as well.

Take her best friend, Grace for example. I mean, think about how she’s always interrupting your daughter, especially when boys are around. And those huge JoJo Siwa bows that she wears in her hair, give me a break. By sophomore year, she’ll have two years of drinking under her belt and will be back-stabbing your daughter by getting to third base with the 2nd string JV tailback.

And then there’s AJ. Perfect hair, super stylish clothes. You just know that kid is going to be a douche bag. The countdown is officially on until he masters the roofie and goes full-on date-rape.

When it comes to class clown Noah, you’re almost surprised that he doesn’t already stink of bong resin. That afro of untamed locks and his laissez-faire demeanor say it all. He’s going to be your daughter’s weed hook-up someday.

But Aiden. He’ll be okay. Polite, courteous and attentive to your daughter, Aiden shows all the characteristics of a reliable friend. There’s even that adorable hint of unrequited love. Of course, she’ll inevitably destroy the poor kid by locking him inside the friend zone, destroying his faith in relationships until he’s in his late twenties, but no-one’s perfect.


See How Good You Are at Looking Ahead?

Now take that same laser focus and apply it to today’s cars. Find the most dependable offering that you can. Sure she’ll hate and resent it (just like she will Aiden) but remember, you don’t want it to be too flashy. Choose a vehicle that limits the number of passengers it can seat (or lay) comfortably, and one that has fewer compartments (to hide drugs, booze and condoms). You can do this, Mom & Dad. Remember, your little girl is growing up fast.


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