Shopping for Transportation

If you’ve decided that your teen needs a car, here are some useful tips to help you and your teen make a car-buying decision you both can live with.


  • Check safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
  • Choose a newer mid-size sedan with the following safety features.
    • Antilock braking system (ABS)
    • Daytime running lights
    • Electronic stability control
    • Side airbags
    • Adjustable/lockable head restraints
  • Look for a car similar in weight, power and size to what you use for practice driving – or plan extra practice hours with the new car.


  • Look for a warranty.
  • Check the vehicle history and maintenance records.
  • Conduct a pre-purchase inspection.
  • Avoid cars with excessive mileage.


  • Research insurance costs.
  • Don’t pay more than you can afford.
  • Weigh pros and cons of older vehicles.
  • Consider a certified used car.
  • Factor in gas mileage.

AAA can help you with your car-buying decision with the AAA Auto Buying Service, discounts on CarFax vehicle history reports and Approved Auto Repair shops that can conduct a pre-purchase inspection.