Will your teen see a car with a bow in the driveway this Christmas? If so, you’re probably already in the market! There are many factors to consider – safety, reliability, affordability, fuel efficiency, comfort, and – of course – style. Here are some tips on what to look for in a vehicle for a new driver:
Safety is Always First: It was just yesterday that safety meant keeping your child in a carseat. For a child who is now in the driver’s seat, safety is still the first priority. Look for vehicles that have high ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). These ratings are based on crash tests and other safety features, such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, and blind spot detection. You can check the ratings of different vehicles by clicking on the links and entering the make and model of your car .
Don’t Get Stranded: You don’t want your teen stranded on the side of a road with a broken down vehicle. Look for vehicles that have a good reputation for durability and dependability, and avoid those that have a history of recalls, complaints, or problems. Bring the car or truck to us, and we’ll give it a once over before you best. We’re reliable, too!
Avoid Sticker Shock: Many parents expect their teens to pitch in to pay for vehicles. Look for vehicles that have a low sticker price, low insurance costs, low depreciation, good gas mileage, and low ownership costs. Especially remember to check out how much insurance will be for a new driver on any vehicle you buy.
Plan for the Pump: Don’t saddle your child with a vehicle that they can’t afford to fill up. Look for vehicles that have a high miles per gallon (MPG) rating. Younger children often are very environmentally aware, and they may want a hybrid or electric vehicle that uses less or no gas.
Get Comfortable: Look for vehicles that have enough space, legroom, headroom, and cargo capacity for your child’s needs. Will they be carpooling with siblings? Will the vehicle need to haul hunting gear or band equipment? What features are important to your child – leather seats, sunroof, navigation system, or backup camera?
Ride in Style: Some of the best vehicle styles for teen drivers are compact and midsize sedans, hatchbacks, pickup trucks, and SUVs. Fun, classic cars are also a hit with younger drivers and their friends. Most kids will be happy with any sort of beater, but you have to remember that the car will be sitting in your driveway!
Of course, the best vehicle for your teen will depend on your personal needs, preferences, and Santa’s budget. Test drive different vehicles and bring them to us for a checkup before making a final decision. Happy holidays – and happy shopping!