Vehicle Considerations

Here are a few tips for when you’re shopping for a safe, reliable and affordable vehicle for your teen driver.

Vehicle type: Newer sedans make good choices for teens. Sports cars or other high-performance vehicles may tempt some teens to speed or drive recklessly. Pick-up trucks and SUVs can also be bad choices due to their clumsy handling and higher rate of rollover crashes.

Safety features: Look for modern safety features such as antilock braking systems (ABS), daytime running lights, electronic stability control, airbags and adjustable/lockable head restraints.

Reliability: Look for a warranty, check all maintenance and repair histories, conduct a pre-purchase inspection and avoid a vehicle with excessive mileage.

Affordability: A new car may not be within your budget. A certified used car might offer similar peace of mind at a lower price. Researching insurance costs and gas mileage before selecting a vehicle can help keep down ownership costs.

Familiarity: Buy a vehicle similar in weight, power and size to what your teen uses for practice driving – or plan extra practice hours with the new vehicle.

Also, check out So Your Teen Wants a Car? a parent’s guide to choosing a vehicle for teen drivers.