Tips to help you find a safe, reliable vehicle that you'll feel good about letting your teen drive
It's the moment every teenager waits for: hopping into their very own car and giving their shiny new driver's license a workout. As much as you'd like them to stay home forever, driving—and therefore car shopping—is an inevitable part of growing up. Make sure you know what to look for when buying your teen's first vehicle so you can start them off right.
Consider the Purpose
When choosing a car for your teen, you should be thinking about practicality, not image. Keep the vehicle's primary use in mind. Is your teenager going to be driving long distances to work or school, or will the car be for errands and visiting friends nearby? The more your teen will be driving, the more important economical features become.
Safety is without a doubt the most important consideration. Heavier cars such as midsize sedans are the safest options as they handle well and protect drivers better in collisions than small cars.
Consider the Cost
The cost of owning a car goes beyond the sticker price. You and your teen both need to know how much is going to wind up going toward gas, insurance payments and maintenance expenses. Purchasing a car with a V4 engine rather than a V6 should offer better fuel economy. Newer cars and cars with low mileage will be less likely to need repairs. Insurance will always be higher on a car driven by a teenager, so you'll want to look for a modest model that won't drive those prices up even more.
Buy New or Used?
Most teenagers wind up with a used car as their first vehicle, but this isn't always the best choice. Older cars don't have the same safety features as new models and are more likely to wind up needing repairs. It can be worth it to spend more up front when you know you're getting a car with features such as stability control and a full complement of airbags. If you do decide to shop used, check out certified pre-owned cars that have passed a thorough dealership inspection to ensure that you get the best possible quality.
When you're ready to shop for your teen's first car, check out the inventory at Fernelius Toyota. We offer a wide selection of new and pre-owned vehicles that you browse right on our website. If you need a little help picking out the right vehicle, stop by the lot and one of our associates will walk you through the process of finding just the right car for your teen.