Thursday, June 17, 2010

Driving Dilemmas

Monday was the long-awaited day--the date we registered for 11 weeks ago, when both Bantam19 and Blondechick17 would take their road tests!  Prior to the big day, I had done my homework to learn what it would do to our insurance rates to have two teenage drivers in the house.  The answer was:  Yikes!

So with all our uncertainties about whether Bantam19 will really be safe on the road, I questioned whether we should even let him take his road test.  But since we'd have to wait so long to reschedule it, and we knew it would be really demoralizing to him if he didn't even get his chance...we prayed that if he shouldn't be driving, that he wouldn't pass.

But he DID!  They both did, with flying colors!

I had also learned that if he has a license, we have to have insurance coverage on him--but if he's not, we don't, and the road test results are good for a year.  He can cash them in any time for a license, if he were to get a job, for example, or if some other pressing reason arose.

So for now, we have deferred the decision.  He is disappointed, but compensated somewhat by the passing score on his test and the knowledge that he can have a license any day--if he gets a job and can help pay for the insurance.  Blondechick, on the other hand, has two jobs, starting Friday!  She is hostessing at a busy restaurant--20-25 hours a week, they said--and also, a nearby mom with her own business needs babysitting for her three young children, at least two days a week, whenever BC gets a day off from the other job.  She's going to be busy this summer!

So our next driving decision is about a car for her.  Right now she's driving our 15-passenger van--a safe choice if she's in an accident, but it's a bear to drive, park--and buy gas for.  So we're looking for something safe and cheap, to make her the primary driver on, with liability coverage only.  A friend has a 2002 Kia Optima for sale, very affordable, but we'd need to put money into it--we're taking it in to a Kia dealer next week to find out how much.  Or would we be better off with an older Honda Civic?  Or Ford Focus--or Taurus?  Or a Nissa Altima?  Websites abound with recommendations.  How about safety vs. cost?  Insurance costs vs. repair/maintenance bills?

What we need is something safe, reliable, fuel-efficient, with lots of miles left on it, that costs next to nothing.  (Got that, Lord?)  We're eager to see what/when/how He will provide!

(And a job for B19 with that, too, God--that's not far from home, without too many driving challenges enroute.  If it's a good idea....)

Watching for His answers!

(And interested in your recommendations/comments, if you have them!)


Heather said...

Until a month ago, my best friend and her husband both drove Honda Civics, 1981 and 1994, respectively. Both cars still drove fine, although the 1981 car no longer had AC. Neither of them have ever had serious problems with either vehicle aside from the AC.

quirkyskittle said...

I have an '03 Ford Taurus SES that's given me very little trouble, but I would say that gas-mileage-wise you could do better (I don't really know exact numbers, but I'd say that unless I'm on the highway for the whole thing, I can get about 400 miles maximum per tank). In every other way, I like it a lot.

TwoSquareMeals said...

You can't beat an old Honda or Acura (same thing under the hood). Even if it is really old and doesn't look too nice, it will still be pretty reliable (if the previous owners did all of the recommended major maintenance). I (and now my husband) have been driving the same Acura for almost 15 years, and it's still going strong. I wouldn't drive it cross-country, but I almost would.

At A Hen's Pace said...

Thanks, all, for sharing your knowledge!

Heather, the Civic has come up high in safety, fuel-efficiency and insurance ratings for years...but the ones in our price range have WAY many miles on them. So it's good to hear that yours are still going strong!

Quirkyskittle, we had two Tauruses back-to-back in the '90's--a sedan and then a station wagon--and they were really good cars. Not as fuel-efficient, since they are a larger car, but definitely on our short list.

TwoSquare--I did not know that the Acura was so similar to a Honda. I haven't seen them appearing on many lists of recommended cars for teens, but now I will do some research!