Once you have a car, you are free, at least until curfew anyway. When I got my license, my parents gave me a car. She is a sky blue '98 Ford Escort ZX2 with red racing stripes my sister designed when she got it. By the time she graduated, it had 29,000 miles on it so my parents decided to keep it for me.
This summer I must have doubled the mileage. With the windows down and CD player blaring, I drove myself to my swim meets as well as to the lake and around with friends. Driving my little blue car feels like being in Nascar sometimes. It turns on a dime and goes well over 120 miles an hour. (I like to go for a drive and take a few fast corners once in a while.)
The interior is blue and gray with front bucket seats and the smallest backseat in the world. My dash is covered in small velcro pieces and I have my sports pins, pictures of friends and family, and a bunch of other things. When you get in, it either smells like food or Febreeze trying to cover the food odor.
My little car has been through a lot in the last five years. My sister hit a deer and needed a new driver side panel and door; I was hit and had to replace the back fender. I also broke a shock and didn't realize it. I had to replace one flat tire, and clean off the remains of numerous small animals I have hit! The smack of a bird against the window or fender isn't unusual.
My car is small, easy to clean, gets good gas mileage, is fun to drive, and has an automatic start which are many of the reasons I like it. When it gets cold, I can push a button and it still starts. It doesn't usually warm up inside, but the engine does, which saves on wear and gas.
My parents pay for insurance and gas; I try to keep it to three tankfuls a month, which isn't hard during school and when I'm busy, but sometimes I can go through a lot of gas. I pay for anything over that to keep them happy. My insurance is pretty low because I haven't done anything major and have good grades.
My only real obligations with my car are to be safe, get my little sister to school, and bring my dad a milkshake whenever he calls. A free car and gas are just the perks of my dad owning a car dealership. These days everyone has a car whether they buy it themselves or not. I'm glad I had the easy route.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.