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Things Your Kids Should Know About Cars (Even if They Don’t Love Them as Much as You)

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Like any true enthusiast, you love cars to a degree that (perhaps) makes you lose a bit of perspective on life. People who really love cars have trouble understanding why anyone else wouldn’t love them as well. It’s the feel of a craftily engineered machine, elements pulled out of the earth and fabricated into a vehicle that can take you anywhere. It’s a tradition of design and passion that has involved some of the world’s best creative minds. And it’s all just really badass.

So it can be frustrating when you try to pass on your passion to a son or daughter, only to receive a less than passionate response. Not every kid gets it. Some do and will carry a burning passion for motor vehicles for life. Others won’t. If your kid is one of these, don’t despair. They’ll find their passion just like you did, and you will support them in their efforts. But this doesn’t mean that the kid shouldn’t know anything at all about cars. If your kid isn’t a born motorhead, see to it that he or she is at least has a healthy respect for the vehicle.

1) Maintenance.

Lots of parents send their kids out on the road, having taught them nothing about the way a car actually works. These kids grow up having an almost mystical relationship with their vehicle. “I put the key in, give it a turn, and off I go!” A good driver understands more about the piece of heavy machinery they are charged with operating at 80 mph. If your kid wants a car, make car maintenance 101 (professor: you) a prerequisite for getting behind the wheel. Your kid will thank you someday when a tire goes flat, or when $25 is saved on an oil change by good ol’ DIY. And other drivers will thank you (metaphorically) when your kid isn’t a dangerous terror on the road.

2) Finances.

This is just another aspect of responsible car ownership. Your kid should know how to find affordable car insurance (belairdirect is a car insurance company that offers a wide range of great advice on their blog). Whether or not your kid is the one paying for the insurance, he or she should know how to shop around for and pick insurance, what the different policy aspects mean, and how to call the insurance company if they get in a fender bender.

3) How to Drive a Stick.

A stick shift has been called the Millennial Anti-Theft device. Don’t let your child be one of the dummies. Manual transmissions are more efficient and longer lasting. And even if your kid doesn’t drive one, there may be a time when there is an emergency, and only a manual transmission vehicle to get to (or away from) the area in question. Don’t let the zombies eat your kid when there’s only a stick shift to carry them away. Teach them right.

Even if your kid isn’t a born car-lover, there are certain skills he or she should possess before they get on the road.

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