Purchasing your first car is a right of passage. It's a huge step towards your independence, and becomes part of your personality (for better or worse). It proves whether or not you can be responsible, and whether or not your parents have to continue hauling your teenage butt around.

I'm honestly shocked my first car lasted as long as it did. I remember putzing with the radio while driving - dumb teenager - and swerving into the ditch then launching over a driveway, Dukes of Hazzard-style. Fortunately, nobody was hurt...including the car. I put it in gear (it was a manual) and nonchalantly pulled back onto the highway.

My girlfriend was not impressed.

...blocked by my own idiocy. Photo by Rusty Watson on Unsplash)
...blocked by my own idiocy. (Photo by Rusty Watson on Unsplash)

I was probably a poster-child for 16-year-olds to not be allowed to drive without an adult. But thems were the times, so I did. I only hit one tree (again, the car survived) and many, many deer.

...slayer #IFYKYK Photo by Anthony Roberts on Unsplash)
...slayer #IFYKYK (Photo by Anthony Roberts on Unsplash)

So yes, I bought my first car when I was 16. What about you: the people?

The vast majority of those polled said that they also bought their first car at 16. Some as young as 13, others not until their 20s.

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The reason I asked was because a study found that people think we should be able to afford to buy a car by age 26. Does that seem a little old? It did to me, until...

My thinking cap... Photo by Lautaro Andreani on Unsplash)
My thinking cap... (Photo by Lautaro Andreani on Unsplash)

Kristen brought up an excellent point: "Everyone here made and saved enough money, in their teens, to purchase a vehicle 100% on their own??? No help from parents? Wow! I want to say I was about 23."

That caveat changes everything. After thinking about it, I realized that my first loan without a co-signer didn't happen until I was about the same age Kristen was.

Actual independence versus perceived independence can be quite different.

H/T: NY Post

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