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Letting your kids drive the car? (Teenagers specifically)

Are you going to let your teenager drive your Tesla? I'm letting my 16 year old son use it to drive to school occasionally, at night when he wants to go out, and during the weekend when I don't need it. Thoughts?

As powerful as the Model S is, it's also the safest thing you probably have in your driveway. From a safety standpoint, your kid will more likely walk away from a Model S crash.

All that said, still no way for at least another 6 years.

No problem with any of my children driving it, but the youngest is 37 and the oldest is nearly 46. No way would I let any teenager in the driver's seat.

Driving by themselves... very rarely. Supervised family trips... if they want to.

@Iph the ford mustang gt has a performance key that changes things in the engine, I'd imagine that would be very possible

My kids (19 & 22 - both boys) cannot drive it for the first year without me being in the car. I specifically emailed that information to my insurance agent hoping the insurance cost will be lower - at least in year 1. He has not responded yet.

I think it is the safest car, but just way too much of a temptation. It was said earlier, I'm not even sure I am old enough to drive this car. I would let my son drive if I was in the car. At 16-18 I would pull donuts in my camry. Funny story is my dad took the car in for servicing and the alignment was off. The mechanic said to my dad, your son must be driving drunk over curbs or something. My Dad was offended and strongly defended me "your talking about my SON", and to this day has no idea I was pulling high speed 180's in the parking lot.

Need a teen mode to go with the valet mode :)

All I know is; I would NEVER want to go through what the parents of Nikki Catsouras, had to. If their story isn't enough to never want your teen to drive your high-power sportcar, well... let's just put it this way, if your kid hits me in my car, I hope you have a few million in the bank, and Lloyds of London car insurance!

@murraypetera, and/or the cell phone app with speed monitoring and hopefully alert options!! "Greetings, your Signature Model S P85 has exceeded 80 MPH" of "It appears your Model S is aggressively accelerating from 0 MPH at every opportunity"


You have completley lost your mind if you think letting a child with a few months experience drive a high powered sports car at night is a good idea. You need to talk to your insurance agent to get the tables on accident statistics for that age bracket. Chances are in a year, your car won't be in very good shape.

Or talk to the cops to get their advice.

No, I don't think letting a teenager drive your Model S is a good idea, without you in the car.
even though it may be the safest car around, if he wrecks it, how long do you think it will take you to get it fixed?
I will let my son drive it, but they are 29 and 31!

A Tesla is a great car but it is still just a car. My kids are infinitely more valuable. In my opinion, the Tesla is the perfect car for a teenager because it is safe AND because I can monitor my teenager. With the app, I can monitor exactly where they are driving, how fast they are driving, if there's any power spikes, etc. Pretty obvious choice to me...

Even if your kids are incredibly mature and responsible drivers there's always the ever present danger of peer pressure.

Kids like to show off, it gets them accepted, it gets them attention, hell, it gets them laid.

Things to consider.

There is a setting that is hidden (look for the hidden menus video on youtube) if you can figure out how to get to it there is an option there to limit the speed but what it limits it to I am not sure and the code needed to access this menu is also unknown to me anyway, however it is likely that a service guy could turn it on for you if they knew the feature was there (they used it on all test drive vehicles to limit them to 80mph but i would think you could set it lower).

Just two words. No way

@Alexander.....very clever. You must be a teenager who logged on posing as an adult to try and rally support to let your parent give you the car for school & going out. Nice try. Now you know!!

Any parent allowing a teenager to drive a Model S alone really needs to SERIOUSLY re-consider!! For all the reasons stated in above posts and many others.

My daughter is 16 and is happy with her Prius. We let her have a 5 min test drive in the Model S and she loved it ofcourse! She is a responsible girl, but that Tesla grin tells the whole story!!! Now she can study hard, get good grades, finish HS, finish college, get a good job & in 10 years buy her very own Tesla (likely a Gen 111)

Please.....Consider the safety of the rest of us on the road, along with your own child. Parents don't let Teenagers drive Teslas!!

Mom of 2 (14 & 16)

When I get a Model S i will not need to worry about this for at least 10 years our daughter is only 5 but I am nervous even now about letting her drive anything from a a rusted out POS to the Model S.

When I learned to drive my parents (out of fear of my older brothers antics) would not let me get my license till i have a full year of driving with one of them in the car so at 17 I got my license and you know I never had the lead foot syndrome, I always have viewed cars as a tool to get from point a to b not a toy that is until i saw the Model S.

I am 34 now and memories of my older brother being brought home in a police car because he was sitting on phone books and using a broom handle to try and drive my Dad's Volvo at the age of 12 seem to surface when thinking of our daughter driving.

Nope. Not happening. Much to my daughter's dismay.

mpottinger buy her a Leaf ;) the only good thing about a teenager driving a model S would be that it is extremely safe but still its only safe to those in it not everyone else.

A teenager + cell phone + expensive car = bull in china shop

To all those folks justifying letting their kids drive this car because "it's the safest car they could drive," please keep the rest of us (and not just your child) in mind. This car is 50-100% heavier than your average compact sedan or Prius, which means your kids likely would survive a high speed crash. However, whoever they hit is very likely to be dead.

Teenagers don't have enough self control to handle a car this powerful. I can barely contain myself when driving my friend's P85, and I'm in my mid-30's!

As a teenager, I was a completely different person when around my parents. Many people on here have similar stories. You do NOT know what you children are likely to do without you around. This is not because your son or daughter is a bad person, but rather because they are a human being, not an angel or saint.

Give them keys to the slow SUV or the Prius; don't give them keys to a car that's more powerful than 95-99% of all cars on the road. They will likely live, but they might kill someone else in the process...

Thoughts? The kid has his license. What is your problem?
You don't trust your kid, you have a real problem. And that you should have started on 16 year ago.
The kid got his license he knows the rules, being it on a Vespa, a Camaro or a Model S. He screws up, he has to face the consequences. Life is simple that way.

For what it is worth. You can monitor location and speed on the phone app.


Surely you are kiddin, right?

1. What act or contribution to mankind as that teenager accomplished that has earned him/her the right to sit behind the wheel of a MS much less drive it?

2. Not if I were on my deathbed with seconds left would I say yes.

3. Let me know when and where you are going to permit this, please. I am going to insure I am not on the road and my MS is protected so a teenager could not run into it.

4. I knew what I did as a teenager.

5. Have you seen on Youtube the idiotic things teenagers are doing these days on simply a skateboard without a second of forethought to the consequences?

6. Not if I had a fleet of 101 MS's setting in my driveway and I wanted to dispose of the slowest one, oldest one, with the ugliest color, (if that's even possible) would I let any teenage drive it to the end of the driveway.

7. Don’t think for a second that your answer of NO to your teenager is going to stop them. That makes it a challenge to get access and drive it when you don’t know they have done it. You might as well go out and total it yourself as put a teenager in the driver seat. Do you really think that if you own one, they are NOT going to find a way to drive it?

8. Teenager sneaks off in MS, wrecks it, maybe worse kills someone. Sure let's just dismiss this as "he has to face the consequences". Answer to the question, is NO, teenagers can not be trusted. Its like Judge Judy says, "how do you tell when a teenager is lying? Their lips are moving."

Is there anything here that I didn't cover?

My 18 year old daughter got to drive my S for the first time a few weeks ago. She is very responsible but the S is quite a bit more car (in multiple dimensions) than anything she had driven in the past so I never offered and she never asked. It wasn't until we were washing the car and I mentioned to my 9 year old son that this is likely the car he would learn to drive in. My daughter perked up and asked if she could drive it. About 15 minutes into her first drive she said "Dad, I know you bored with your cars pretty fast so can I have this one when your are done"? I laughed and said "Not a chance, you will have to get your own. I am keeping this one longer than you can wait". Not sure this is a direct result but recently she has been rethinking her major in college based on the job market potential.

The way I figure it is that in 7 years when my son learns to drive I should be ready for the next generation and the battery in my current S should be depleted so much that it naturally limits the acceleration.

Geir T;
the human fore-brain (impulse control, planning, ethics, abstract thought, etc.) is not fully formed until the early 20s, at the earliest. It spends the late teens testing and learning limits.

@GeirT. Spoken like a person who has no children, cause a good parent would never be THAT naive!

"he screws up, he has to face the consequences". Sure, for certain things. You don't study, you flunk. You show up late for work, you lose your job. Personal consequences that are important to learn.

You screw up badly behind the wheel of a Model S, and you can KILL people. But, hey....lesson learned, "life is simple that way". (yes - that was sarcasm!). It can happen with any car, but we all agree the Model S is rather unique!

Brian is correct re: human fore-brain. That is fact & biology. It has nothing to do with "trust".

Monitoring your child with the App is rather pointless as well. "Oh look, little Johnny is driving 100mph. He's going to get a talking to when (&if) he gets home."

Why does Tesla limit speed during test drives. Because there are clearly "a few" adults that also need more time for their fore-brain to develop.

Is GeirT a troll?

It depends. I have two teenage sons. One I am fine with driving my Model S. The other is not getting close to it. He is too much like me.

I'm not sure I trust ME to drive my S. Luckily, I've got a 40/60. So I'm going to let ME drive, but I'll be keeping my eyes on ME.

I guess the short answer is 'depends.' If you know your kids, you already know the best answer to this. Even if they are super responsible, there is a lot of liability involved here, and kids will and *should* be kids, be conservative and exercise oversight commensurate with age.

If you don't really know your kids, it doesn't really matter if you let them drive or not. You have other priorities to worry about.

If you don't really know if you know your kids, keep in mind that getting to know them in a hospital or from the back of the courtroom is far from awesome.

If you don't really know if you have kids or not, buy another Tesla just in case.

My 24-year old Navy pilot son is just now getting to the point where we may consider allowing him to drive this car (or our other high-powered cars) without us riding shotgun. No one that age understands mortality, even a Navy officer and jet-trained pilot.

Our son lost two high school friends to irresponsible parents who turned over the keys to a Vette and an SL550. Both were decapitated in separate incidents, and one girlfriend died. Same rule for motorcycles. They were welcome to get one - just don't come home again (and I have five motorcycles in the garage and am currently on an adventure motorcycle tour in Africa). Young people just don't have a sense of what can go wrong and how fast. You may think your kid is different and you are wrong. The parents of the kids who destroyed their lives also lost their ability to have another happy day - ever.

Did I have fast bikes and cars in my teens and early twenties? Yes. Another reason that we KNOW what can/will happen. It is amazing that I survived that period in life given the accidents and close calls. I also can't believe how irresponsible my parents were - allowing a cross-country trip after high school graduation - one that was punctuated by two arrests and way too much drinking and driving (no arrest related to that, both were speeding). Think your kid is more responsible? You are kidding yourself.

My kids were provided a Ford Focus automatic upon license age

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