Getting Your Teen’s First Car

Its been 16 years and now that day has finally come. Your teen driver wants a vehicle for their birthday. Where do you start? You want something safe, after all, it is your baby out there, something that is reliable for you kiddo, something that has good insurance prices, maybe something that gets good gas mileage, however, you don’t want to break the bank either. So, what are the options that best fit all those criteria? The list is endless. We have put together a few resources that might help you figure out what suits you.

I have spoken with an insurance agency, and there are some criteria that you should take into consideration when looking for vehicles. You want to stay in the new to 10 years old time frame because there is new safety equipment in cars within this age range. The category of the vehicle is what will play a significant role in the cost of insurance, for example, you will pay more in coverage on an SUV compared to a sedan, you won’t get any discounted rates on insurance if the vehicle is a manual transmission versus automatic transmission. Your insurance may also require you to have your child insured on all vehicles in the household, not just on their vehicle.

Another great resource to ensure that you’re getting the vehicle that will keep your child safe behind the wheel of their car is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. We use this website to show students how their dream car will fare in an accident and to teach them how to shop smart for a vehicle. This website gives ratings to different features of the vehicle, such as the headlights and the seatbelts, and also has videos of most of the vehicles in multiple accidents. When deciding how safe a vehicle is, we teach our students about crumple zones. The main crumple zones are the areas from the grill of the car to the passenger compartment and from the tail lights to the passenger compartment, these spaces are designed to crumple in the event of an accident to gradually slow down the passenger so that the effects of the impact are less on the body. A car will look terrible after an accident, but if the part of the car that is affected by the accident is limited to the area around the passenger compartment and doesn’t enter into this area, that is a vehicle that you want your child driving.

Now that you know what car you want for your child, finding one that is within a reasonable price and has a good, safe history is the next hurdle that you must overcome. The best resource for checking this is CarFax. With this website, you can make sure that not only are you putting your child behind the wheel of a car that can fare well in an accident because of the way that it has been built and designed, but also because it is a vehicle that has been well maintained throughout its life.

We hope that these few tips will help you and your family through this process and help you and your child be safe, comfortable, and confident with the car that you choose.

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