Just about every teenager is not-so-patiently waiting to get their first car. Buying a vehicle for a teen is scary, though. Without years of driving experience under their belt, it’s of the upmost importance to find a safe, reliable car for your teen. Plus, you don’t want to spend too much money, since less experienced drivers are more likely to get into a fender bender. Follow these tips when searching for a car for your new driver.
1. Larger vehicles are often safer. The safest types of cars are mid-size sedans, since they offer the most protection in a crash with the smallest risk of rollover.
2. Make sure to find a good deal. Go price shopping on websites like Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book so that you know what a fair price is for whatever vehicle you have your eye on.
3. Safety should always be a priority, even if your teen is dying to get that adorable little convertible. Always choose a car that has a minimum of six airbags.
4. Make sure to buy a car that has stability control and antilock brakes. This is extra important if you’re purchasing an SUV or another type of high-sitting vehicle.
5. Check the government’s crash test ratings and pick a car that has a minimum of four out of five stars. Research ratings at SaferCar.gov.
6. Check out the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website and look for cars with “good” ratings or that are labeled as a “Top Safety Pick.
7. Both you and your teen should test drive the car. For a brand new driver, have them stick to the backroads, then take it for a spin yourself on the highway and around a couple of challenging curves.
8. Always perform a background check! AutoCheck and Carfax can tell you a bit about the car’s history, like if it’s ever been in an accident.
9. Whenever possible, have a mechanic do a thorough inspection before purchasing the car.
10. Don’t shy away from a car that has a few imperfections and scratches. If the car has minor wear and tear, you’ll be able to negotiate a better price.