Buying A Car For Your Teen

Posted on

Buying A Safe Car

In many families, if teens get a car, they end up with the oldest, most beat-up one in the household.  Or if they save up to buy a used car, it’s 6-10 years old and a smaller model.   While less expensive, this option might not be the safest choice for teens.  The Institute for Highway Safety has compiled a list of best choices and good choices for a safe used car for teens.

In the last few years many cars have added great safety features like back-up cameras, side camera, ESC Electronic stability control, larger mirrors, collision warning, lane watch, gps, and more.  In general, heavier cars had better safety crash ratings than lighter ones.  So do your homework and get the car with the best safety rating and features that you can afford.

Buying A Used Car

Thinking about buying a used car? For many teens, it’s the affordable, logical choice to cut your driving teeth on. However, it’s important to know what to check for when shopping for a car that has been previously owned.

Do Your Research

  • Use a good car review site to check out reviews of past make and models.
  • Avoid cars that have major issues when hitting 100K miles.
  • Check out the insurance costs for that particular car before buying.

A Good Checkup

  • Check out the horn, lights, heat, seats, air conditioning, brakes, seat belts, and steering to make sure these all work properly.
  • Have a trusted mechanic go over the car and alert you to any potential problems, and to especially check that the airbags are in place and working.
  • Look for any evidence that indicates that the car was in a major accident, or ask the previous owner about this. You may also be able to find out from the DMV if the car has been in accidents if you have the car ID number.
  • Check the car for any evidence of tampering, such as marks on the odometer or numbers that don’t line up. Also be sure to see if the odometer miles are more than mileage entered on oil stickers, inspection stickers, or tire warranty cards.
  • Look at the tires. If the odometer reads less than 25,000 miles, the car should have the original tires. The tires should all be the same brand, and probably radials.