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Good First Cars for Teenagers: What You Need to Know

The day has finally arrived. Your teen is ready to join thousands of drivers on the road. Not only are you likely concerned about their safety during their first months on the road alone, but you also may be wondering which make and model could be the best first car for your new driver to keep them protected. When deciding on a first car for a teenager, check out the following criteria before going to the dealer. 

How much should I spend on my teenager's first car?

  • There is no right answer. Depending on how much you want to spend, you may opt to buy your young driver either a new or used car. And don't forget to factor in things like gas, maintenance and your teen's auto insurance to your total budget. When purchasing insurance for teen drivers, you may be able to lower your premium by finding a good student car insurance discount

What safety features do I need on my teen's first car?

If you are considering buying your teen a used car, there are several safety features that can help protect your child. Below are few essential features. You can also find out what the latest considerations are for crash test ratings and highway safety by visiting the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) website.

  • Anti-lock brakes – Look for a used car with anti-lock brakes, which can prevent the car from skidding. If you're buying a new model, anti-lock brakes should already be included.
  • Air bags – Another essential safety measure is air bags. All new cars have air bags, but make sure any used cars you consider include front air bags for the driver and front passenger. Side air bags are great for added protection in your teenager's first car.

What car technology might benefit my teen?

  • Blind spot detection – Many new cars today offer this helpful feature. Your teen will be alerted if there is another vehicle in their blind spot.
  • Lane departure warning – Similar to the blind spot detector, a sensor will be set off if your teen is turning into a lane with an obstacle.
  • Rearview camera – Ease your worries about your young driver backing the car up for the first time on their own with this helpful extra.
  • Incoming text blocking – There are many car companies that offer technology to give parents the ability to block incoming text messages to their teens' phones while the teen's vehicle is in motion.

It's important to remember, however, that these technologies do not take the place of necessary safe driving skills and should not be relied upon.  

What are some of the best cars for new drivers?

When it comes to some of the safest cars for teenagers, according to ConsumerReports.org, midsize sedans tend to top the list. Some models include the Subaru Forester or Impreza, Honda Accord or Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Optima or and the Toyota Camry or Corolla.

Whether you decide to purchase a new or used car, consider these tips and safety features to help ensure that your teen is protected on the road.

The provided information and safety suggestions were obtained from sources believed to be reliable and is intended for informational purposes only. Titan and its affiliates assume no liability in connection with providing it or your use of it. Your circumstances may not warrant or require some or all of the safety suggestions, and there may be additional available safety procedures that are not referenced on this webpage.

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Titan Insurance, design, superhero and Savings without the Sacrifice are service marks of THI Holdings (Delaware), Inc. Nationwide Insurance is a service mark of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Price based on March 2010 analysis of available national data for liability-only policies. Subject to underwriting guidelines, review and approval.

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