Getting a car for your teen is perhaps one of the most significant decisions you need to make as a parent. You want to find the right vehicle for your son and daughter that is not only safe, sturdy, cost-effective, and reliable. There are many other things to consider, such as whether you’re going to get a new or used car, standard or high-powered, and expensive or cheap, making the decision-making even more challenging. With that, we’ve collated some of the best tips to make the process easier. Read on and discover how you could choose the perfect vehicle for your teenage driver.
1) Pick a larger vehicle.
Most parents opt to choose smaller, compact cars for their young adults, thinking they are easier to drive and won’t lead to significant damage if they hit things or properties they shouldn’t. Plus, these cars are also less expensive, hitting their budget. However, they didn’t take into account that smaller vehicles tend to be less safe for teens as they offer less protection during collisions.
If you’re buying a car for your teen, keep in mind that bigger is better. Why so? Larger vehicles have longer hoods, which means that the passenger is farther than the impact area and provides more “cushion” during frontal crashes. Second, physics does it work. The heavier the vehicle will push the lighter car backward, which means more force diverts towards the latter during a crash. Lastly, bigger vehicles tend to use more durable materials than compact and cheaper cars, providing more safety.
As such, it’s a better choice to get your teenager an SUV or truck if you want more protection. However, they can be too spacious or too difficult for them to handle, so buying a mid-sized vehicle is your best bet.
2) Look for must-have safety features.
With the continuous advancement of technology, car safety components have also evolved through the years. A lot of systems are now available to assist drivers and help them avoid perilous situations. Be sure to get your teen a car that has all the vital safety features. Some safety features you should be looking for include blind-spot and proximity alerts, reverse camera, anti-lock braking system, electronic stability control, and additional side airbags.
3) New or Used?
One major dilemma parents face when selecting a car for their young adults is buying a new car or a used one. Well, there are actually some advantages and drawbacks to each side. The deciding point usually boils down to your teenage driver’s needs and your budget.
A used vehicle is relatively cheaper and also costs less to insure. Second-hand cars will work if you’re pretty concerned that the car will get banged up, especially if your teenage child is still learning the ropes and gaining experience on the road. However, keep in mind that used cars tend to have outdated features or lack safety components newer cars already have. Yet, a used car will still do if your teen will only be driving close to home, like maybe a few kilometers to school.
If your teen needs to travel great distances, then it’s a wiser idea to pick a new car instead, equipped with the latest features to keep him or her safe. These cars also boast new components to make your teen feel comfortable behind the wheel as he or she hones his or her driving skills. If a new vehicle is over your budget, a slightly used, well-chosen model often will suffice for your teenage driver’s needs.
4) Steer away from cars with high horsepower.
Buying your teen a sporty car may seem cool but not when it comes to his or her safety. Vehicles with higher horsepower may encourage younger adults to drive faster or race with other cars, putting them in great peril. Speeding is the root cause of 1/3 of car crashes, so it’s definitely safer to have your teens drive a less horsepower car. It will not be subject to abuse, and he or she will learn how to drive responsibly and less aggressively, If your teen asks for a speedy car, step on the brakes first and get him or her a mid-engined car.
5) Go for a test drive.
While you’re a big part of the decision, it’s your teen who will drive the car at the end of the day. Thus, it’s a must that your teen will be at ease and comfy with the car you’re purchasing. To know, have your test drive the potential cars you’re choosing from. Let him or her try out the vehicles in various situations, such as parking the vehicle or merging into busy streets. With that, they can fully assess the car and get the feel of it.
As your teen may lack driving experience, it’s also crucial that you also test the car to ensure that there aren’t any things your young adult may have missed. Is the steering wheel easy to maneuver? Are the brakes working properly? Do they need gentle force or a more forceful one to stop? If you’re also uncertain about anything, you can also ask for an expert’s opinion on the car for better guidance.
Selecting the car is only one part of the process. Whatever car you may end up purchasing, it’s essential that you educate your teen on the dangers of driving and what steps he or she can take to become a responsible driver. Afterward, see to it that they have a deep understanding of how to value and treat their car better so they can have long, safe journeys on the roads.