Your Teenager’s First Car
Ah, the five scariest words your teenager will ever say. “I’ve got my driver’s license!”
I can hear some of you quaking in your shoes at the thought, right now.
But never fear. Just because they’re out and about driving on their own now doesn’t mean that you can’t always be with them. Having a good auto policy is a must, as is laying down good driving habits and etiquette. But most helpful above all is finding that perfect starter car to protect your teenager and give him/her the confidence to carry those instilled skills into their adult lives.
Now, keep in mind. This is not a “Top Ten List of Teen Starter Cars”. If that’s what you’re looking for, Google it. I’m sure you can find a ton of opinion articles and dealership photo galleries on the subject. No, no, no.
Instead, this is simply a compilation of pointers and things to look for when car shopping for the very first time. It’s a product of research and is backed by an overwhelming consensus of experts.
1) First and probably most obvious is to avoid high-powered vehicles. While it could potentially equal faster reaction times, more horsepower also means less control for the inexperienced driver and more fuel for a lead foot. Power can easily go to your head, so best to remove temptation before it begins. Lower tier, utilitarian hatchbacks from Toyota, Honda and Volkswagen may fit this role perfectly.
2) Modern computer-assisted automobiles come equipped with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems installed. Driving on ice and in rain are likely very new concepts to your teen driver, but ESC systems are designed to keep the car in complete control even when they’re not. You want them to learn on their own, but a guiding hand never hurts, even if it is an electronic one. Ford has made great strides in Stability Control, electronic guidance and hands-free cell phone tech, making them prime candidates for a teenager’s first car.
3) The heavier the car, the safer the driver. Heavier cars are easier to control, they don’t get pushed around as easy as a lighter weight compact car, and they’re better protected in the event of a crash. Though it’s not stylish, you can rest assured that the sturdy frame of an older Buick will feel the brunt of the impact long before your teen will.
4) Good wheels = good stability. Larger tires add an extra layer of control to an already safe vehicle. Add 4WD to the mixture, and you have a recipe for a much safer teen on the road.
At the end of the day, it’s all about control and stability. Finding just the right car for your teen with the perfect mix of economy and safety features will not only keep your insurance premiums at bay, but will ensure that he or she will make sensible driving decisions even when you’re not around.
First Baldwin Insurance