Learning to drive can be a scary time for young drivers and parents. Some new drivers are lucky enough to get a nice hand-me-down from a relative, but others will need to purchase a vehicle. If you plan on buying or helping your teenage driver get a car, there are many things you need to consider. First and foremost is that new drivers are learning, and they will make mistakes. They may back into the bushes and scratch the paint or scrape the garage wall with the side of the vehicle as they learn depth perception. With that in mind, a used car can make sense. A used car may not be the young driver’s first choice, but a late-model used car may be the right choice. Even for those with unlimited funds, a young driver looking to purchase a new vehicle still has many things to decide. The best car for a young driver is the safest car that they can afford. Here are the things every young driver needs to consider when purchasing a vehicle.
Since the leading cause of accidents among 15-20-year-olds is car accidents, insurance rates are extremely high for young drivers. If you’re a parent, your insurance rates can double by adding a teenager to your policy. Before you purchase a vehicle for your teen, contact the insurance company and see what the insurance will cost for the vehicle you are considering. Four-door sedans are less expensive than two-door sports cars. Liability insurance for teenagers is high because of the risk. If you plan to obtain an auto loan to purchase the vehicle, the lender will also require collision insurance, which can be quite expensive depending on the vehicle. If you purchase an older car without a loan, you may save by not having to carry collision insurance, but you most certainly won’t have the latest safety features, and that can raise liability costs. Always check with an insurance agent before purchasing to know the insurance costs.
Vehicle Make and Model
Since teen drivers are risky and have the most accidents of any age category, it makes sense to do whatever you can to keep your young driver safe. If a teen is involved in an accident, a bigger vehicle provides more protection. And as a benefit, while they are learning, a sedan might discourage them from some risky driving situations.
With expensive vehicles comes expensive maintenance. All vehicles need regular maintenance, and if you don’t have the funds for upkeep, the vehicle can quickly fall into disrepair. Teens need reliable vehicles because you certainly don’t want them broken down on the road. Besides the cost of the regular maintenance, consider how far you need to drive to get the vehicle serviced. That luxury vehicle can be in good shape, but there may be no dealer in your area. You need to consider the costs of maintenance and estimate repairs. A set of tires on a four-wheel-drive vehicle will be much higher than on a Toyota. Look at all costs, insurance, maintenance, and repairs before purchasing a vehicle for your young driver.
Age of the Vehicle
A late-model car with a lot of safety features in your price range will be the best choice. A young driver will need hands-free technology, and it would be great to have lane assist, backup cameras, and blind-spot alerts. Because of all the safety features, your insurance may be lower on a newer vehicle than an older one that doesn’t have all the latest safety features.
Young drivers often dream of a car on-trend in a hot color and sporty, but those may not be the best choices for learning. A young driver’s first car should be safe and memorable. They need to realize that they will gain experience over time, and there will be plenty of time in the future for that sporty red car.