It’s what you’ve been waiting for, and the whole reason turning 16 is such a big deal—you’re finally getting your license. For most teens, that’s only half the battle; now you’ve got to convince your parents you can be trusted behind the wheel. It’s really not that hard. Here’s how to demonstrate that giving you their car keys isn’t such a bad idea.
Agree to Training
Adults love it when you ask for help, and it shows them you still need them. Ask your mom or dad to take you out for a spin, and genuinely seek their impressions of your driving and tips for doing better. They’ll be impressed you still want help, especially if you’ve already passed a driver’s education course. Bite your tongue, too, if they get a bit overbearing. They really can help you drive better and gain confidence, and they’ll see you are a good driver and can be trusted behind the wheel.
Get Good Grades
Besides showing them that you can handle yourself behind the wheel, prove to your parents that you are responsible in other aspects of your life. Getting good grades can earn you more driving time and it can sometimes help decrease auto insurance rates, which will be a definite plus in your parents’ eyes. Talk to your parents about a possible agreement in which more As lead to more driving privileges.
Create a Contract
If your parents are iffy about letting you drive their car, propose that you create a contract. Agree on a set of rules, such as no texting and driving, a limit on the number of passengers you can have with you and limits on night driving or severe weather conditions. Agree to consequences if you break any rule. If you all decide on something together, you’ll know what is expected of you.
Download a Stalker App
For especially picky parents, you may have to do a little extra. Agree to download a GPS tracking app. This will give them peace of mind knowing they can find you if something were to happen.
Chipping in for gas and general maintenance demonstrates maturity. Learn how to check the oil and do so without being prompted. Offer to take the car in for its service appointments. Learn the signs of excessive tire wear and tear, and offer to help pay when replacements are needed. (Tip: You don’t have to empty out your piggy bank to care for the car. TireBuyer has BF Goodrich tires starting at just $77!)
If you don’t have a job, think of creative ways you can help pay for these expenses. Besides good grades, help around the house or ask for a responsibility you can take over to earn your driving time. Your parents will realize you know what it takes to care for a car, and they may be more willing to loan it to you. Treat it well when they do, so they don’t have a reason to take it away from you.
And above all else, remember that driving is both a privilege and a responsibility. Drive safely, and without distractions, is the key to keeping yourself, and others, safe on the road.