Do Car Titles Go To Teenagers?

Laura has a 15-year-old son who's saved his own money for a car he'll buy in a year. When he purchases the car, should they put it in their names or their son's name?

QUESTION: Laura in Nashville has a 15-year-old son who’s saved his own money for a car he’ll buy in a year. They’ve matched his money as he’s gone along. When he purchases the car, should they put it in their names or their son’s name?

ANSWER: What I did was I put them in my name. The reason was the insurance was much less, plus I didn’t want a 16-year-old under some illusion that they were in control of their life, because they’re not. As their dad, I love them more than that. They’re not ready to be in control of their life. I want them to be in control of parts of their life, so that later they know how to be in control of their life and when they leave, they can stay gone. But right now, I’m going to be guiding them, and I don’t want the ownership document to confuse them about who’s in charge.

I turned the ownership over when they were 18. In every case, I had incredible kids I had incredible trust in. If I had one that I wasn’t sure was ready, I wouldn’t do that. But I turned it over to them when they were 18, and I did that also for another reason. It got the liability of them screwing up as a driver off of me, because as you might imagine, people would pray for Dave Ramsey’s kid to hit them. I’ve got a bit of a target on my butt. From a risk-management standpoint, I took it out of my name. The insurance is more expensive when it’s in their name.