If you have a teenager who's just turned of-age and is ready to get behind the wheel and take on this rite of passage with both hands, you might understandably be a little trepidatious about the damage they might do to your car. After all, when it comes to crash risk, teenagers 16–19 have the biggest of the lot, with teenagers 16–17 having about nine times more crashes than the average adult. So if you're wanting to be prepared about what damage your teen might do to your car (not to mention what it'll take to fix it), then here are three areas that your new driver might damage.
1. Fender/Back Bumper
As one of the most common areas of a car to get dinged (hence the common term "fender-bender"), your car's fender is the front-most area (while the back bumper is the rearmost) and thus the part closest to other cars. Even low speeds can result in these two areas getting roughed up a bit, even if the rest of your car and your somewhat shaken new driver are completely fine. Studies have found that even minor-seeming damage can total about $3,000 in repairs and can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks (or longer) depending on the severity of the damage. If the car doesn't look too bad, aesthetically speaking, it might be smarter to just leave those minor dings be.
2. Passenger-Side Door(s)
Left turns can be notoriously tricky for regular drivers — enough that some simply choose a different route to avoid them — so it should be no surprise that the right-side door (or doors) of your car can be a magnet for cars that your new driver didn't see or didn't estimate the speed of quite right, resulting in a collision when turning left. Doors can be tricky in that even if they only have minor dents that can be resolved with a plunger and some elbow grease, the alignment of your door might be off and allow wind and leakage into the car. Luckily, a new door is a relatively quick fix (a few days) and can be relatively cheap (if using a used car door) or run you around $1,000 for a brand-new one, plus the cost of labor.
3. Cracked Windshield
Whether it's because of following too closely to a rock-chucking semi-truck, driving down a chip-seal or otherwise unfinished road, or some malfeasance on the part of your new driver's peers, cracked windshields are quite common among new drivers. They're generally more startling than they are dangerous, but if they obstruct the view of your driver, they should probably be fixed. Luckily for you and your wallet, this is one of the cheaper repairs to make. It can be anywhere from under $50 to about $300 — but that's still significantly cheaper than most other repairs a car might need, and the fixing itself will most likely take about 15 minutes (and no longer than an hour).
Getting any of these issues fixed can be easy once you find a trusty auto body repair shop like High Point Body & Paint.