I Got My Driver's License!! Gift Ideas for Your New Driver

by SusanVillasLewis

Celebrate a milestone in your teen's life with gift ideas for a new driver

My oldest niece turns 16 this year. Which means she'll be driving.


And while she would prefer I just gave her my car as a present (not likely), I have been thinking about good ideas for gifts for a new driver. It's a big deal to turn 16 and get that driver's license, so I'd like to celebrate it big time.

So just what makes a good gift for your teen driver? Obviously every child (and budget) is different, so I've collected several cool ideas that would work for various situations. All receiving an official stamp of approval from my niece, of course!

Thumbnail image above available as card at Zazzle: New Driver

Blessing of Young Drivers

Lord of our journeys,
Today we mark and celebrate a significant moment
in the lives of these young people.

As they prepare to assume the responsibility of drivers,
we ask you to gift them with wisdom
to make good choices as they navigate the roads they travel.

Provide them with safe passage as they make each journey.
Bless them with a clear mind
that they may steer away from any danger
they may encounter along the way.

And let them know of the hope they provide us
as they take this next step into maturity.

We ask all these things,
in the name of God who travels with us
throughout all our journeys.


Source: National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry 

New Driver Gifts: Inside their pocket

Small driver gifts they can carry with them

I tend to err on the practical side, so of course, the first thing I thought of was a key ring. Whee. It's not the most exciting thing, but there are tons out there that can express personality and keep your teen organized. Or gives you some handy tools like a multi-tool key chain with a flashlight or this nifty self-defense model and more.

Plus, nothing makes you feel more grown-up than having your own set of keys to the car. (Up to you to set the rules for when those keys get to work!)

Along with the key chain, how about a wallet or ID holder with a specialized place for their driver's license? Not only will it be easily accessible when they need it, but also right out where they can wave it under their friends' noses. (Oh, that? It's just my driver's license.)

Inside the wallet, consider placing a gas gift card. (Hint, hint, you should put gas in the car when you use it.) Make it a one-time gift or one you can recharge on a regular basis as an alternative to getting them a credit card.

Black Magic Wallet

Pocket for driver's license on the outside let's them show it off and makes it easy to find. Get organized with this Magic Wallet . The wallet works like "magic" to store your belongings. Works similar to a Jacob's ladder.

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Vera Bradley Zip ID Case in Many Colors (Symphony In Hue)

Size - 5 inches x 3 inches

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Fashion Credit Card Wheel License Id Wallet Holder Organizer (Pink Diamond)

Find it fast with this handy and fashionable card holder. Holds up to 10 cards and fans out for easy identification. When not in use, the tight elastic band holds the card ...

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ResQMe, The Keychain Version of the Original LifeHammer (Yellow)

ResQMe is a revolutionary hand-held rescue tool amazingly powerful despite its mini size. A fierce but absolutely safe spring loaded stainless steel spike allows the vehicle ...

Only $24.64

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Swiss+Tech TFCSCR-PS Transformer Xi KeyChain MultiTool with Flashlight, Screwdriver, Work Light ...

Swiss Tech Transformer Xi 12-in-1 Screwdriver Set with Work Light includes 6 screwdrivers, inch and millimeter rule markings and 2-LED flashlight. It offers pocket-sized ...

Only $17.89

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Angry Birds Metal Keychain Style 1 Red Bird, Blue Bird, Yellow Bird King Pig

Use it as a Bag ring or as key chain. The Angry Bird key chains are cute and of high quality with Red, Blue, Yellow and Green Charecters. Angry Bird Key Chain is an officially ...

Only $9.5

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New Driver Gifts: Inside the house

Yes, there are options to give a teen driver that aren't directly related to driving or a car. I ran across a few "no parking" signs, which you could hang in the garage or just give them for their room. Get a personalized one (the one shown here is just $19.99 at Personal Creations) or just a funny new driver sign.

Now, you might be giving your child a car. Or you might be letting them share use of the family car. But sooner or later, they will want their own. Which makes cash a great gift (as always) to put into their bank account (they do have one, don't they?), but you could present it to them in a bank to use at home for saving money. Every penny counts whether it's for buying the car, decorating it or keeping it gassed up.

To go back to the truly practical, it's always a good idea to own a basic car repair book. After all, it does no good to try to jump the car if it's the starter that's shot and a basic book can help you tell when it's the starter or the battery causing the problem. (Saved me a ton of money and headache personally to be able to look that up once.)

NEW DRIVER PARKING wreck accident joke sign

NEW DRIVER PARKING ONLY SIGN. A BRAND NEW sign!! Made of thick aluminum and tough vinyl lettering and graphics. This sign is 12in. wide and 18in. tall - the same size as ...

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Dare To Repair Your Car: A Do-It-Herself Guide to Maintenance, Safety, Minor Fix-Its, and ...

We're back! And this time we've got your back when it comes to you and your car. In Dare to Repair: A Do-It-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home, we opened ...

$16.99  $10.94

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Bollo Regalo Red Car Bank C127-47R

Hand painted polyvinyl bank.

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Bug Car Coin Bank, 6-inch

Includes 1 camper in random color (comes in two colors). This colorful bank looks like a bug car. Measures 4.75 inches x 6 inches x 3.75 inches.

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New Driver Gifts: Inside the car

Old beater or the family car, your teen is going to want to make the space their own as much as they can. Not to mention make it more useful with technology.

Newer cars have auxiliary jacks and sockets built in, but it's possible to end up without any. Good options might be to set the car up with an iPod connector or change out the stereo to one with a jack so your teen can plug their own tunes in when they drive. (Road trip playlist, anyone?) And maybe an added benefit because it's more difficult to answer your phone while it's attached to the radio!

If you're sharing a car, a CD case is another nice option. They can take their music with them when they go, but not leave it cluttering up the car when they return. Maybe add a new CD or two inside. 

I'm better these days about remembering to charge my phone, but I still carry a car charger with me just in case. Having a phone for emergencies doesn't help much when the battery's dead. Drives my husband batty. And if your teen is anything like mine, they're still learning the art of responsibility.

One of my favorite things - and likely what my niece will be getting - are personalized car mats. You can get all kinds of accessories for inside the car - from Hello Kitty to butterflies to zebra - but these are a unique touch. The ones I found at Personal Creations (shown in the picture) are just $29.99 for a set and come with an initial and name.

Oh - and to be ultimately practical, consider the kinds of things no car should be without - jumper cables and an emergency kit. Boring but absolutely critical.

Case Logic CSW-32 32 Capacity Sport CD Wallet (Black/Pink)

Case Logic is obsessed with organization! No matter who you are, what toys, tools or technology you have, where you are, or where you are going, Case Logic is your partner in ...

Only $55.0
Case Logic EVW-24 EVA Molded 24 Capacity CD/DVD Case (Blue)

Caselogic EVW-24 EVA Molded 24-Capacity CD/DVD Case. Durable, molded EVA exterior provides superior protection. Patented ProSleeves keep dirt away to prevent scratching of ...

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Scosche IPNRFC Wireless Car Steering Wheel RF Remote Control for iPod

Scosche RF remotes allow you to connect any iPod with a bottom dock connector to your sound system and have full control of your music. Whether you want to roam around the ...

Only $79.99
KHOMO : AUX 3.5mm to Apple iPod/iPhone Dock Connector for Car, speakers, audio. 6ft Super Long ...

Khomo line out dock to AUX Cable for Apple iPod, iPhone and iPad portable audio devices fitted with 30 pin dock socket. Connect your iPod, iPhone or iPad to headphone amps and ...

AAA 70 Piece Explorer Road Assistance Kit

AAA EXPLORER 70 PIECE ROADSIDE ASSISTANT KIT INCLUDES:1 AAA car care guide, 1 AAA membership brochure, 1 8 gauge 10 foot heavy duty booster cable, 1 hand crank flashlight, ...

Bell Automotive 22-5-02093-V Roadside Emergency Kit - 46 Piece

From fashion to function, Bell Automotive offers a wide variety of automotive accessories to meet every need. Staying charged on the go, keeping organized, or just looking for ...

New Driver Gifts: Outside the car

Unless you have a real gearhead on your hands, your child is probably more interested in how the car looks than how well it's running. Lauren and I have had several conversations about how she could dress up a car if she ends up with an ugly old beater.

You could just start with a whole new paint job. We still have a lot of those places that will paint your car for just $99, and that might be a good enough paint job to last for as long as your teen has the car. If they're creative, maybe they could even add in a few painted details on their own to dress it up. (There are tons of books on how to paint your car. The assumption here is that this isn't the car they will keep forever and coloring on it doesn't hurt its value.

If you want to play it a little safe or go beyond a solid color, consider car decals. They're a somewhat permanent solution - you can't move them around like clings - but can add a touch of personality to the car. I recently did stars in a few colors, but the options are almost limitless.

Or think about the license plate area. Get a frame (noting what the law in your state says about how much of the plate can be covered) or even spring for a personalized license plate. If you live in a state where you only need one license plate, find a plate to go on the front that fits with their style.

Caution New Driver - Window Bumper Laptop Sticker

This sticker is perfect for your vehicle, laptop, locker or just about any smooth surface. The sticker is printed on glossy, white vinyl with water and UV resistant inks. Just ...

Only $3.99

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New Driver Magnet Reflective Black on Yellow

REFLECTIVE magnets for the New driver. Don't settle for less. Let other drivers know your situation. These magnetic signs will help ease the stress of the new driver and ...

Only $14.99

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How to Paint Your Car on a Budget (Cartech)

If your car needs new paint, or even just a touch-up, the cost involved in getting a professional job can be more than you bargained for. Fortunately, there are less expensive ...

$29.95  $2.98

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Car Monogram

Monogram etiquette is the last name initial goes in the middle and is larger. First name first, middle name last. Eg: Pamela Mary Lancaster: PLM. L will be larger in acutal ...

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License Plate Frame Chrome - Jaws Shark Teeth

Instantly customize your car, truck, van or SUV with this amazing brand new chrome license plate. Designed to give a stylish and unique look to your vehicle. The chrome frame ...

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Bell Automotive 22-1-46213-8 Personalized License Plate Frame

From fashion to function, Bell Automotive offers a wide variety of automotive accessories to meet every need. Staying charged on the go, keeping organized, or just looking for ...

Only $39.95

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New Driver Gifts: An actual car

Yep - a car would be the ultimate gift. And between Craigslist and eBay, it's even easier to find one that suits your needs. In both case, searching is easy and you will get options from private parties as well as dealers.

Consider how long you expect to be using this car - just through high school or all the way through college? What kinds of things does your teen need to be doing with the car - do they need space to haul stuff? And don't forget when you poke around on Craigslist to check out cities around your area. The perfect car could be one town over.

eBay Motors allows you to search on all kinds of parameters, including distance from you. I love that you can tell it you want to look for a hybrid or so many miles or a specific color. Decide what's most important to you and search from there.

Updated: 08/07/2020, SusanVillasLewis
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What was your favorite gift as a new driver?

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Jeff Benson on 08/28/2016

I think I will include a pair of gloves as a gift for my new ten driver.

Rachel Brighton on 02/19/2016

Great article. But always remind your teen about the proper and responsible driving.

katiem2 on 06/01/2012

My oldest is about to get her temps, I will certainly get her a few of these great gift ideas for first time drivers before, during the learning process and after as a celebratory gift. Love your drivers gift ideas.

Heather on 03/23/2012

unique ideas :)

Janet21 on 03/22/2012

My oldest will get her license in 2 years...I am already freaking out about it! Great page. :)

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