Watching your teen get behind the wheel for the first time on their own is an exciting moment — but it can also be overwhelming at the same time. Ease your mind by knowing they’re getting behind the wheel of a safe, dependable car that you’ve helped them choose.
So if you’re in the market for a new car for your teen, read these tips for picking out that perfect first set of wheels.
Size. Small sports cars and huge SUVs might seem like attractive options (especially to your teen!), but in reality, a midsized car is your best bet. The bigger and heavier the vehicle, the better it protects in the event of a crash.
Horsepower. Steer your teen away from vehicles with a high horsepower, as a more powerful engine can be tempting to test out.
New vs. used. Whether you choose to buy new or used largely depends on your budget and what you’re comfortable spending. If you do buy used, remember the later the model, the better. Consult The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety for the best used models for teens.
Safety. Of course, you’ll want to choose a vehicle with the best safety and crash test ratings possible. Also look for features like side airbags and electronic stability control (ESC), which helps drivers maintain control on curves and slippery roads.
Fuel. Unless you’re willing to cover the cost of filling your teen’s tank each week, be sure to look at a car’s fuel efficiency. The better MPG, the easier it will be on your son or daughter.
Extras. There are numerous safe driving programs for teens out there, so consider installing the app on both your own and your teen’s phones to keep an eye on their driving habits.