How Did The Tradition Of Buying Teens Cars On Their 16th Birthdays Start?
Coming of age in the US was related for a very long time to passing your driving test and getting your license. At least it used to be like this in the past, when getting behind the wheel also meant the transition from childhood to adult independence. For teens that got their first car on their 16th birthday, it used to be the beginning of a whole new world – even more important than legal drinking or voting.
It is safe to say that the level of enthusiasm of American teens for all things cars was unmatched.
However, in the mid-20th century, the situation was a bit different than it is today. Cheap used cars from the late 20s were widely available and teens used to be eager to drive them, to escape their parents` control.
These days, vehicles are more expensive and more complicated, and getting a driving license is also harder. Starting with the 70s, the age requirements for driving was raised to 17 or 18, with more limited permits for younger drivers. Besides, driving a car now does not reflect freedom as it used to. Kids these days have access to technology very early in life, they have more privacy in their homes, they are treated differently overall, so there is no more excitement or anticipation for the old “rite of passage”. The good news, is that many more parents are sending their children to driving schools in Colorado Springs and other areas, prior to them getting a driver’s license and a new car in today’s age.