Does a 16-Year-Old Deserve a Nice Car?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Nov 01, 1989

Dear Tom and Ray:

I am 16 years old and I am considering buying a used Mazda Miata. What do you think?


RAY: For your information, Aaron, it's almost impossible to find a used Mazda Miata these days. And if you do find one, you'll discover that used Miatas are selling for more than NEW Miatas. This car is so popular that scalpers are buying them new at premium prices, and then re-selling them for even more money just days later. So let's forget the Miata.

TOM: What you really want, Aaron, is an old Jalopy. First of all, you don't deserve a car as nice as a Miata at age 16. Even I don't deserve one and I'm much older than you are.

RAY: Secondly, even if you do deserve a Miata, your parents would be crazy to let you have one now. You may have them convinced that you're the world's most careful driver, but you're not. Every 16 year old drives like a nut. When Ghandi was 16, he drove like a nut too.

TOM: Thirdly, your first car is bound to take a beating. Therefore, you're better off practicing your docking maneuvers with the biggest, ugliest Imperial Starcruiser you can get your hands on. Such a car will also make your parents happy because you'll have lots of metal around you for protection, and you won't drive it much because you'll never be able to afford to fill up the tank.

RAY: And finally, as time goes by Aaron, you'll see the wisdom of buying a car with a large back seat. Trust us.

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