It's official - school is back in session! If your teen turned 16 over the summer you've no doubt been asked when they're going to be presented with their first car. But while you may have had no troubles dismissing the question this summer, now that you're faced with driving your teen to school, extra curricular activities, and possibly work, you might start seeing the benefits of your teen having their own car. However, buying your teenager his or her own car has a unique set of challenges. You want to balance safety and reliability with inexpensive repairs and a coat of paint you won’t mind seeing dings on (because they'll happen). So what are the best car features for teens that most parents interested in?
Important Features in Cars for Teens
Modern safety technology has come a long way, but the cars built even as long as 10 years ago can still have sophisticated airbag systems to save lives in the event of an accident. Make sure you research the safety aspects of the specific model year of the car you're buying, because many cars change drastically in between model years.
If you’ve ever driven a car from the 60s or 70s, you know how to pump the brakes. If you have a modern car now, it’s probably an emergency braking tactic you don’t miss. Modern brake systems can help prevent your teen from getting in an accident in the first place, so try and make sure your teen’s first car has a working ABS system, and traction control if your budget allows. These technologies have saved countless lives and prevented costly medical and repair bills.
No parent wants to get the call from their teen about being stranded by their car. Making sure the car you get your teen is current on all it’s maintenence needs and get regular inspections to try and catch catastrophic failure before they’re an issue. We’ve mentioned it before and we’ll mention it again, but Convoy Auto Repair is happy to perform pre-purchase inspections on any vehicle you’re interested in buying. Even if you buy a classically reliable car like a Civic, use this opportunity to teach your teen about basic car maintenance and repairs they can check or fix themselves, like windshield wipers, tire pressure/tire changes, and oil levels. You may learn something new in the process!
Many parents look toward economy cars as first cars for their teens, and there’s a reason. Economy cars are well known for their efficient use of fuel and lack of dangerous power. Learning to drive is a challenging, often dangerous task; there’s no reason to introduce the raw power of some vehicles into the equation. As a bonus, used economy cars are often the cheapest to insure, even with a new driver!
Teaching your teen to drive is stressful enough. Make sure you set your teen up with a car that offers you peace of mind in regards to their safety on the road!