With summer break coming to a close, many parents are thinking about buying a car for their high school and college students before they go back to school. If you’re looking to buy a car for a teenager that’s safe and affordable, here are some tips that can help on what to look for when buying a used car:
Consider buying a car that’s similar to what your teen learned to drive in. This may help them feel more comfortable driving their car because they’re familiar with how it handles. If you’re unable to purchase something similar, have your teen drive around with you several times until they feel comfortable driving on their own.
Invest in as many safety features as you can afford. Some newer models include anti-lock brakes, electric stability control (ECS), all-wheel drive, traction control, dual front and side airbags and fog lights. These features may provide your teen with more protection in case of a crash.
Check vehicle safety ratings. Look at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). They perform dozens of crash tests a year in order to test different cars’ safety ratings.
Look for any open auto recalls on models that you’re considering. Use the free Carfax Recall at recall.carfax.com to search for any existing unfixed auto recalls by entering the vehicle identification number (VIN).
Some important things to consider before you purchase a car are the gas mileage and insurance coverage. Gas prices and insurance costs can add up quickly, so you want to make sure that they fit into your budget. Some insurance companies will offer a discount to students with good grades which can help cut down on costs.
For more information and answers about buying your teenager a car, why not ask the CARFAX community in our Car Forum