When your teen reaches the legal driving age, it can be bittersweet of you as a parent. While you no longer have the sole responsibility of getting them where they need to be, you also have to trust in their ability to drive safely on the road. A big part of driving safely on the road has to do with the type of car they’ll be driving. So if you’re considering buying a car for your teen to use, here are three tips for picking the right car for their first on-road experience.
The Bigger, The Better
While you might like the idea of selling your car for something a little smaller and quicker on the road, that’s the opposite of what you should be doing when getting a car for your new teenage driver. According to Rick Newman, a contributor to FamilyCircle.com, you definitely want your teen to be driving a car that’s relatively big. This is because if your teen were to get in a car accident, it’s much safer if they’re in the bigger car that was involved. This can keep them safer and avoid more injuries. Additionally, cars like midsize sedans also have a lower center of gravity, which makes it harder for them to flip when in a crash.
Look For Small Engines
Although you probably want your teen to be driving in a car that has a bit of heft behind it, you don’t want them to be driving a car that has too big of an engine. In general, the bigger the engine, the more power it has behind it, which means that it’s easier for it to get to higher speed. For this reason, Jerry Reynolds, a contributor to CarProUSA.com, suggests looking for smaller engines with fewer cylinders. This will make it harder for your teen to reach high speeds which could make them vulnerable to crashes or other types of accidents on the road.
Always Get An Inspection
Once you think you’ve found the right car for your teen to use as their first ride, it’s vital that you get the car inspected before you buy it, especially if you’re buying it used. You can’t always tell the condition of a car simply by looking at the exterior, so seeing a professional for an inspection before you buy it can help you know if you’re making a solid purchase. According to Rachel Hartman, a contributor to Bankrate.com, if you spend less than $5,000 on the car itself, it’s pretty safe to assume that you should be putting at least $1,000 or $2,000 into the car initially to ensure that it has all the necessary safety features that you want in your teen’s car, like good tires, brakes, and working lights.
If you’re contemplating buying a car for your new teen driver, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you pick the best vehicle for your child.