Can A 17 Year Old Buy A Car

Want to purchase a vehicle at 17? This book delves into the hurdles and opportunities for youth wishing to acquire their wheels. Learn how to make the correct car-buying decisions, from navigating finance choices to comprehending legal duties.
Can A 17 Year Old Buy A Car
Can A 17 Year Old Buy A Car
Can a 17-year-old purchase a car? Discover the difficulties and practicality of teenage automobile ownership. Learn about finance, insurance, and regulatory requirements to help young drivers make educated decisions regarding their first vehicle.
In this article

The adventure of zooming on wheels is all buzz and bang. The Gen Z clan relates freedom and independence with their vehicle. It is a status symbol; owning a car at a young age shows how trendy and high-key you are. But perks sometimes come with added responsibilities. Owning a car is different from shopping for a gaming console online. There are rules and strict regulations that one needs to adhere to while buying a four-wheeler and every time you are on your wheels. 

The most important question is, what is the right age to own a vehicle and have a legally registered document as a teenager? And can a 17 year old buy a car? It would help if you were 18 to register a car in your name, get a title, or have an insured name under car ownership. As a 17-year-old, you can still take the first steps towards car ownership. 

Can a 17-year-old buy a car

A 17-year-old can buy and use a car for his own good. The deal is if he is willing to put an adult’s name to list their name for the title and registration in the documents. This mainly depends on where the 17-year-old is buying the car from. 

  • A vehicle purchased from a dealership, a private seller, or even on loan needs the name of an 18+ to buy the car.
  • The 17-year-old can try buying the vehicle under his name at any dealership if he plans to purchase it with cash. 

How to Buy a Car Under 18?

Being under 18 makes it difficult for adults to take you seriously. Often, car dealers do not take under-18s seriously and advise them to go elsewhere. 

Before approaching a dealer or buying a car, learn about its features, prices, and reviews. This shows the dealer you know what you’re talking about.

Dress neatly and act respectfully to show you’re serious. A parent or guardian is essential to strengthen your case if you’re under 18.

Knowing your budget and financing options helps the dealer see you’re ready to make a deal. Lastly, ask questions about the car and the buying process to show interest and satisfaction.

Financing a Car Purchase as a Teen

As a 17-year-old, you might not sign a car contract alone. In some states, the contract could be invalid. You’ll need an adult to co-sign your loan unless you can pay for the car in cash. Even if you don’t finance the car, you might need help getting it on the road before you turn 18.

Insurance for Young Drivers

It would help to have car insurance to drive legally in most states. Insurance companies might have age requirements to buy a policy. If you’re too young at the age of 16 and willing to buy a car, your parents or guardians can put you on their policy until you meet the age rules and drive legally.

The Role of Guardians in Teen Car Purchases

Teenagers sometimes make decisions unaware of the consequences, and purchasing a car could be one of them. Even if your teenager is responsible enough to take care of their belongings, the parents or guardians need to give them the right advice and make the decision which they feel is best.

A teenager cannot buy a car under their title; an adult or a parent’s name is legally required for the vehicle’s registration, loans, and insurance. Guardians play a vital role in being the insurance holder and title owner under the registration of their teen’s car purchase.

Understanding Car Ownership Responsibilities

Owning a car involves many responsibilities, including financial, maintenance, and safety obligations. As a teenager, it is essential to understand these responsibilities and take control of them before deciding to purchase a vehicle. 

Financial responsibility: Buying a car costs money, and expenses keep coming. In the US, you’ll pay about $80 yearly for registration and need around $150 monthly for insurance. Plus, save for unexpected car repairs with a monthly or yearly emergency fund.

Vehicle Maintenance: Owning a car means taking good care of it. Keep your car clean to reduce wear from road dirt and avoid overloading it. Regular maintenance and care at home help your vehicle last longer and run better.

Safety obligations:

  1. Always drive sober and avoid any substances that affect your driving.
  2. Focus on the road, not your phone or snacks.
  3. Ensure your car is in good shape, and check tires, lights, brakes, and more to stay safe on the road.

Leasing vs. Buying a Car as a Teenager

Leasing a car means renting the vehicle for a while; it has fewer monthly payments and less cost than buying the car. Purchasing the car means owning the vehicle for the rest of your life. It has high monthly fees and a lot more care to take than leasing. 

The difference is that leasing is not registered under the teenager’s name and can be a good choice until the teenager becomes an adult. Buying the car comes with the ownership of the vehicle, where the title cannot be the teenager’s.

Preparing for the DMV

As a teenager, preparing for the DMV is more essential than purchasing a car. A few steps are crucial to learn while preparing for the DMV: studying the driver’s manual to understand the road rules. Then, practice driving with a licensed adult to build confidence. Gather all required documents, like proof of identity and residency, to bring with you to the test. Finally, schedule your written and driving tests when you feel ready. 


Every teenager wishes to own a car at a young age. It helps teenagers with independence and responsibilities. Buying a car at 17 is a big deal regarding registration and ownership of the vehicle. The dealers always ask for an adult before advising them to purchase the car from them.

Although different states have different rules and demands, teenagers should make detailed information about their state’s allowances. Many states, such as Texas, allow title transfer and registration to minors, whereas Ohio asks for parents’ signatures on the title transfer and their presence and insurance during registration.

Check out Beem, the Super App powered by artificial intelligence that revolutionizes how you obtain personal loans. Explore a carefully curated range of loan alternatives from $500 to $100,000, each targeted to your specific financial circumstances and guaranteed by industry leaders. Once you are at the right legal age, make the right decision about whether buying or leasing is suitable and accessible. Once you are an adult, all decisions will fall into the right places.

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Shirlene Grace Isaac

Shirlene puts words on the Internet because she loves to do so and also for the money! She is a singer, songwriter, occasional poet, artist and muser — all in the body of a 20 something. She's a taleteller of sorts often looking for opportunities to narrate stories untold.


This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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