Passing the driving license test is only the beginning. The next step is to get a safe car and find cheap car insurance for young drivers. It is understandable that parents’ and teenagers’ choices may clash here. Most parents would want to look at safety, reliability and costs while youngsters may want a hot ride. Both parties can get something as close to what they want as possible with a little research. So, there is a little bit of work to do in order to find the best cars for teenage drivers that will satisfy both the parents and youngsters.
A recent survey carried out by USAA confirms that majority of parents (80%) puts reliability first in their check list followed by safety ratings and affordability. Those automobiles generally increase the chance of getting cheap auto insurance as well. You still have to make sure not to buy an auto that will embarrass your teen in front of their friends. The good news is that most parents do their research as well. Therefore, you would be surprised how many of your teen’s friends are actually driving highly recommended cars.
Here are some tips as to how to pick an automobile that will fit in your budget, offer peace of mind and still be loveable by your child.
Question of New or Used Auto
You can pick up a used automobile at a very reasonable price these days. However, you may find that they lack the technological safeguards you want to see. New cars come with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), side airbags as well as front, collision intervention solutions and many more safety features that are highly desirable. Also, you can probably get additional savings on your auto insurance because insurers like those and additional security features against theft.
The problem with older cars is that you cannot fix those extras on them. You cannot add airbags or ESC on an older vehicle and some of the security features you can add may not qualify you for premium discounts. Perhaps, a happy middle ground may be to go for nearly new second hand cars depending on your budget. Generally, you want to look for the ones that are not more than two years old.
What to Look for when Buying Cars for Teen Drivers
It may take some time to research all your options but getting it right is important for the safety of young drivers and parents’ peace of mind. Furthermore, your choices will affect the auto maintenance, fuel and insurance costs as long as you keep the vehicle. Here are a few points to watch out and how to deal with them.
- Price is always an important factor regardless of buying new or old car. There are a few online car shopping websites that can help you find what you are looking for. You need to first find out how much the market price of the auto you are considering is. Then, you can start negotiating for a lower price and free extras. For example, this car buying research tool offered by USAA can help you find the right price and connect you with the dealers.
- Reliability is one of the most important factors considered by parents. You need to look at the warranties offered to decide about reliability. Generally, manufacturers that are confident with their automobiles offer longer warranties and it is cheaper to extend the warranty of such models. Warranty offers piece of mind due to the fact that any technical issues will be sorted out by the company. Also, some models are known to last a lot longer and keep their value better. You may want to find out about them too.
- Safety is extra important when you are buying the vehicle for a high risk driver. Generally, safer cars have lower insurance ratings and cheaper to insure. Checking crash-test results and ratings is a good way of judging the safety of an automobile. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety publishes their findings under Top Safety Picks each year.
- Practicality is something you should consider especially if you are living in city centers. Small cars are great for the city residence as they are easier to park. Some countries, states or cities charges lower tax for smaller and low emission autos that there may be tax benefits as well.
- Style is always the key attraction and this is truer when you want to be a fashionable teenager. Recent surveys suggest that most teenagers like small cars anyway. For example, Fiat 500 is very popular with girls thanks to its cute look and style. Parents would need to discuss what type of cars their children think is cool.
- Running costs should not be ignored too. Sometimes it may make sense to pay a little bit more when you are buying a car you can get more economical one. Usually popular models are cheaper to get serviced and repaired because most garages deal with them and the parts are widely available. Cars with lower engine sizes are normally going to burn less petrol. And cars with good insurance rating will be cheaper to insure.
- Used Cars require a little bit more checking before purchasing. You should check their history by buying a report from companies like CarFax. These auto history reports are generally cheap to order and can prevent many issues in the future. Another problem is cars with flood damage and you should take extra care when they are coming from recently flooded areas. Also, it is highly advisable to ask a mechanic to have a good look at the engine and for any signs of crash repairs before you pay the seller.
Top 10 Cars for Teenagers
There are several websites that publish their research or opinion as to which cars are the best for various categories and groups of people. Obviously you will have your opinion on the matter as well but it is always helpful to look at those lists. As we are looking for good cars for teen drivers here is a list of top ten cars for teen drivers. The list is prepared by USAA Insurance Company based on reliability, safety and affordability.
There are plenty other resources for teenage drivers to check. They can carry on their driving education, learn how to look after their automobiles or become a good defensive driver. You can even find a contract to sign with your teenage driver outlining his/her responsibilities and the terms you agreed. They should know that they are responsible and there will be consequences if they fail. They should also know the laws and regulations and what would happen if they break them.