Five Tips for Choosing Your Teen’s First Car

So, your teen son or daughter has finally come to that age where they’re old enough to drive their own vehicle. This is a huge milestone for any teen — but also any parent. You want your teen to be a safe and responsible driver, which means purchasing them the right car. So if this is the first time buying a car for your son or daughter, then check out these tips that will take the stress out of the process. 

1. Choose Wisely

If given the choice, it’s likely that the average teen will choose a sporty car, SUV, or pickup truck. You might want to make your kid happy, but these choices come with some baggage. Small, compact sports cars are meant to be fast, so with impulsive new drivers this is a big no no. SUVs and trucks may seem like excellent choices, but they often come with high rollover rates. Consider a later model of mid to full size car. These cars function well and aren’t too flashy, so you’ll get a good rate on your insurance and your teen won’t be tempted to burn rubber on the road.

2. Avoid Brand New Cars

Adults have earned the right to purchase a brand new car, not only because they’ve earned the money to buy it but also because they are far more responsible. Teens may try to pressure parents into a new car purchase, but it’s important to keep in mind that teens are far more likely to have an accident in their first year of driving than at any other time. It’s highly advised that parents purchase a used model car for their teen’s first car and as always, never neglect to test out the vehicle, like with a Nissan test drive, before purchasing it.

3. Check Safety Ratings

Just looking at a car can tell you a lot about it, but it won’t tell you the average safety rating for that model. Every vehicle on the road has an individual safety rating, so before the paperwork is signed, be sure to check it. The safety rating encompasses crash tests and a variety of different important aspects for the safety of the vehicle. Teenagers can be reckless, so you want to take as many precautions as possible to make sure yours won’t get into any trouble.

4. Intelligent Features

Technology has given us many exciting changes, including high-tech features available on the average car. Vehicles today are equipped with lane keeping sensors, electronic stability control, and anti-lock braking systems. Many of these are great options for a new driver since they help with safety. Also look for vehicles that have seat belt reminder technology, like an annoying beeping noise, to keep them just a little safer on the streets.

5. More Than Just a Few Air Bags

Airbags are standard features on today’s vehicles, so always ensure that your teen’s car has at least a driver and passenger air bag. More modern vehicles have much more than just airbags: for example, side impact airbags are essential as well since not all crashes come from the front or rear of the vehicle. 

It’s a fun and exciting time in a teen’s life when they are given the keys to their very own car — but with more privilege comes more responsibility. Set specific rules for the car, such as when and where they are allowed to drive. Encourage safe driving like no texting or talking on the phone while driving. If your teen follows these practices, they’ll have an excellent time with their first car!

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