Among adults who have children of driving age, more than 40% of those surveyed bought their child’s first car for them. Less than 20% of their children purchased their first car for themselves. The survey found that more than 50% of those adults bought their own first car, while just over 10% said their own parents purchased that car for them.
Rick Wainschel is AutoTrader’s vice president of automotive insights.
“You’ve heard a lot about this notion of ‘helicopter parenting,’ if you will, people looking over their children’s overall life experiences, and I think that this is maybe an embodiment of that.”
Many parents said they felt obligated to help their children through tough economic times. Others said their main motive in purchasing the children’s first car was to control the choice of vehicle. Parents reported the three characteristics most important to them in a buying first car for their children were reliability, safety, and price.