Expert Picks – Safe and Affordable Vehicles for Your Teen
With 2017 knocking on your door comes the feeling of a new, fresh year.
Perhaps buying your Teen a vehicle is part of your New Year plan?
Cars and trucks come with many new or improved safety systems to help drivers avoid a crash.
Newer safety features include:
- Closing in on a car too quickly – Forward-collision warning, with or without an auto brake, is on top of many car shoppers wish list.
- Changing lanes into an unseen car – Blind-spot warning and rear cross traffic alert are available and a real eye-opener. This is a top rated safety feature by folks at Consumer Report.
- Backing out – Whether it be your driveway or the grocery parking spot. Backup cameras are more common on newer vehicles. Backup cameras could become standard on all 2018 vehicles.
- Driving distracted – Lane departure warning alerts you when your vehicle’s wanders out of your lane, helps keep you straight!
While all these safety features are incredible and extremely beneficial, the reality for most parents is buying an additional car is a financial decision. Buying a new model year or even a one or two-year-old vehicle might not be in the budget. With this reality in mind, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has compiled a list of budget-friendly used vehicles with critical safety features for your new teen driver.
IIHS’s picks are broken out into two categories:
Furthermore, the IIHS’s recommends purchasing a vehicle for your teen be based on four main principles:
- Steer clear of high horsepower vehicles.
- Bigger, heavier vehicles may provide better protection in a crash.
- Consider Electronic Stability Control (ESC). This feature helps maintain control of the vehicle on curves and slippery roads.
- Your vehicle should have the best safety ratings possible.
Note: There are no minicars or small cars on the recommended list. Small SUVs are included because their weight is similar to that of a midsize car.
- Good ratings in the IIHS moderate overlap front test
- Acceptable ratings in the IIHS side crash test
- Four or five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The list and recommendations are a guide to help you buy a vehicle with both safety and affordability in mind for your teen / high-school / college driver, whatever your budget.