“Can I borrow the car?” Those words mark the moment your teenager assumes ownership of your only vehicle. It’s now time to start looking at used cars so you can get your keys back.
Your teen’s first car doesn’t have to be a show-stopper. They may express a preference for car type. But when buying a car for your teen, your number one concern is likely car safety.
It’s not hard to find good first cars that meet your criteria. And we want to give you some car-buying tips to make it easier. Here are 5 things to consider when car buying for your teen driver.
Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for its annual car ranking. Give special attention to the 5-Star Safety Ratings. Its purpose is to help buyers make informed decisions when shopping for cars.
Passive safety vehicle equipment deploys upon impact to protect the driver and passengers. It includes things like seatbelts and airbags.
Active safety vehicle equipment remains engaged to prevent an accident. They include anti-lock brakes, driver assistance sensors, and traction control.
Set a car budget before you and your teen driver go shopping. Once you have a list of safe cars, research those that fit into your car budget. Young drivers don’t practice the best car care, so don’t spend too much money on a new or used car.
Cars belonging to new drivers end up needing repairs more often than usual. Since teen drivers have a high rate of car accidents, spend wisely on their first car. Buying a used car at a great price doesn’t mean compromising safety.
It’s not necessary to buy the biggest vehicle but stay away from compact cars. Larger vehicles provide more protection in an accident. But when buying a larger vehicle, you must also consider its efficiency.
Your teen may only travel between home and school. Or they might have extracurricular activities that cause frequent driving. Efficient vehicles offer far more miles to the gallon.
The price of the vehicle isn’t the only cost factor when buying a car. High accident rates for teen drivers create higher car insurance rates too. Get a quote from your insurance agent before settling on a car.
Oftentimes auto insurance companies have good driver discounts for new drivers. Talk to your teenager about safe driving in general. But also hold them accountable for a good driving record, so your rates don’t increase.
Before buying a car, be sure to go for a test drive. Having a mechanic check out the car is also a good idea. Your teenager needs a reliable vehicle to keep them out of unfortunate situations.
Don’t buy a car without asking your used car dealer important questions. Get a vehicle history report and proof of maintenance. Also, check the NHTSA website for any vehicle recalls.
Buying a Car for Your Teen Driver
This is an exciting time for you and your teen driver. Follow our 5 tips for a good experience on and off the car lot. Ensure your teen’s safety first but don’t break the bank doing it.