by Julia Mendes
Juniors and seniors count down the days until their driver’s tests. They dream of late-night McDonalds runs, trips to the mall and more – all on their own time. For most teens, a license symbolizes freedom. However, many students are surprised to find that their license does not serve as a 24-hours-a-day-seven-days-a-week pass to freedom.
To buy her 2000 Volkswagen Beetle, senior Carlie Roessle has worked at a restaurant and as a lifeguard every summer since she was 15. Roessle said, “It’s important for teenagers to work for what they get, rather than getting things handed to them.”
Most teenagers who are buying their own cars opt for used cars. A Consumer Reports study proved that choosing a three-year-old car over a new one can save buyers thousands of dollars in just the first five years. Although used cars may be a pain when it comes to maintenance and reliability, and do not look as nice as new cars are, most students’ finances steer them toward previously owned vehicles.
“I never really wanted a Beetle until it came my way for a cheap price,” Roessle said. “My car has a mind of its own; it has a few problems but nothing major.”
Roessle claims her love for her car stems from the fact that she worked diligently for it. “Buying things with money that you earn yourself is definitely rewarding,” she said.
Sharing a car…
Juniors Alex and Jesse Ozdamar are twins that must share their BMW 328 XI.
Sharing a car can pose a lot of problems for siblings, especially when they have different schedules. “If one of us has to stay after school, it’s difficult if the other has to wait around,” said Alex.
Deciding who gets to use the car, whose turn it is to buy gas and who takes better care of the car are all common issues that arise when sharing a vehicle. Fortunately, Alex and Jesse have worked out a system to determine whose turn it is to drive. “I drive on even days of the month and Jesse drives on odd days of the month, and on the 31st day of the month we switch on and off,” said Jesse.
Despite the difficulties siblings find when sharing a car, there are upsides to sharing as well. For example, splitting the cost of gas and repairs saves money. Compromise is always the most important thing to remember when sharing a car with someone else. “Although we have to share a car, at least we still have a car and are very appreciative of that,” said Alex.
Among the juniors and seniors who have passed their driver’s test are the bereft few whose licenses serve solely to fill up space in their wallet. Junior Gabby Testa awaits the day she can drive to school in a car she can call her own. “I really want a car, but the bus is fine for now,” she said.