Buying a car for your teen driver: which car is the right car?

If you’ve decided to reward your teenager with a car, or help him/her purchase one, how do you decide which car is the right car for a teen driver?

Safety
It’s easy to find out which cars did well in crash tests (and which didn’t). Visit these sites for current and past ratings, and other useful tools:
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awards annual Top Safety Picks
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration site has vehicle ratings
The National Insurance Crime Bureau allows you to enter a car’s VIN to learn if it’s been reported stolen or flagged as a salvaged vehicle.

Reliability and Usage
Sources such as Consumer Reports can give you a good idea of the experience other owners have had with the models you’re considering. Warranty coverage is included with new vehicles, and used cars that have undergone a certification program. Depending on how your teen will use the car, you’ll want to look at mileage estimates and features such as all-wheel drive.

The Importance of an Inspection
Get an inspection from a trusted repair shop if buying used. Get as much history on the car as you can, from owner records to a report from Carfax or a similar service. And, if you feel the sellers aren’t being forthcoming, walk away. Their problems are not your problems!

Cost of Ownership
Certain vehicles cost more to repair, maintain, and insure than others. Chapman Insurance can help you determine the impact different models can have on the price of auto insurance. When you get further along in your search and have a few choices in mind, give us a call to get a few quotes!

This information is provided by Safeco Insurance.