What’s The Best Car For My New Teen Driver?

Terrified driving instructor with studentThere’s a common dilemma in many households with a newly licensed teen driver: Do I pass down my old car to my teen? Or do I buy another vehicle for my teen to drive?

Fortunately for parents, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has some guidance in its new Status Report, Volume 52 No. 2. Recently, IIHS released its lists of best used vehicles for teens, which has grown to a record 49 “best bets” and 82 “good bets” for 2017.

Before assigning the designations of “good bet” or “best bet,” IIHS looks for vehicles with strong performance in its multitude of tests, including small and moderate overlap crashes, roof strength and head restraints. Pricing for “best bet” vehicles starts under $20,000 and pricing for “good bet” vehicles starts under $10,000.

IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer David Zuby put it best when he said in the Institute’s latest Status Report, “Good crash protection is more affordable than ever, so there’s no need to skimp on safety when it comes to a vehicle for a young driver.”

Along with finding a ride with ample crash protection, there are a few additional things parents should consider when they start to shop:

Stay away from high horsepower

Some vehicles have upgraded models with more powerful engines. Having that little extra under the hood isn’t a good mix for younger, inexperienced drivers who may be tempted to test the upper limits of the high-performance engine.

Bigger is better

Larger, heavier vehicles provide more crash protection than mini cars. In fact, IIHS does not include any small or mini cars on its recommendation list.

Look for electronic stability control

This safety technology helps drivers maintain control on curves and slippery roads, and has reduced fatal single-vehicle crash risks by nearly half according to IIHS.

And keep in mind, even if you don’t have a teen driver in your household, these vehicles could still be worth checking out if you’re looking to get into a reasonably priced, safe ride.

For more safe driving tips, visit GEICO’s Safe Driving Resources page.

Adding a teen driver to your GEICO auto policy is a breeze. Simply log on to geico.com and click Manage Drivers in the Quick Links tab in the box on your right.

By Mike Young

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