What to Look For When Buying Your Teen Their First Car

Buying or helping your child buy his or her first car is a big step in both of your lives. In order to ensure that you make the right decision for your family, keep these pointers in mind when shopping around for a new car.

Avoid Flashy Cars

No matter how much your teenager may want it, buying a sports car or a high performance vehicle may be a mistake. Teenagers are risk-takers, and have brains that are not fully developed like adults, which causes them to not fully understand the consequences of risky behavior and activity. According to the insurance industry, it is suggested that you choose a late-model car for your teenager’s first vehicle. Sports cars may also cost you more, as they can often raise insurance premiums.

Small or Big Car?

Keep in mind that small cars may be economically efficient because they often use less gas, yet small cars may not be as safe in a car accident. In serious car accidents, cars can crunch up like an accordian, and the less space the car takes up, the tighter the car crunches in an accident. Small cars also seat the driver lower down, and therefore, it is harder for the driver to have full visibility of the road and other cars at times.

If your new driver will be driving a pick-up truck, van, or SUV, it is important that he or she has plenty of practice before buying the car and getting on the road alone with it. These large cars are driven differently than smaller cars. Vans and trucks have a different center of gravity, which affects the way they need to be driven when turning and driving around curves.

Do Your Research

Before choosing the car, you may want to do research on that type of car and what the reliability and cost of ownership data is. If you are considering a used car, you will want any prior history on it and what accidents it has been in. You may also want to consider bringing the car to get inspected at a mechanic. Also consider a vehicle that has a warranty, or purchase an extended warranty.

Arguably, the best car to get a new, teenage driver is a newer mid-size sedan car. If you buy a car that is old and worn-out, your teenager may not go the extra-mile to take care of the car. If you buy a car that is newer, then your teenager is more likely to go the extra-mile to take care of the car. Lastly, be sure to find a car that has three-point seatbelts, front and side airbags, and improved crumple zones. For more information on this topic, see ct.gov/teendriving. If your teenager has received a motor vehicle infraction, or has been in a car accident, contact our office at 203-567-6474 to speak with someone who can help and answer your questions.

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