Sweet 16: 4 Genius Tips for Picking Out Your Teen’s First Car

So, your teenager is turning sixteen and you have decided to get him or her a car. It’s a big step, and you’re likely wondering how you should go about finding him or her a suitable car. These four genius tips for picking out your teen’s first car will help you do just that.

1. Buy Used

Note that used does not necessarily mean old. Generally, really old cars are not good ideas for teenagers as they have less safety features and poorer gas mileage. But you can easily get a car that’s up to five years old that still has a lot of modern features and will save your family a lot of money. Besides, it’s likely to get a few scrapes and scratches with a new driver behind the wheel anyway.

2. Shop For The Best Deal

As with all major purchases, you should take the time, especially if the need for a vehicle is not urgent, to shop for the best deal you can get. Many dealerships hold sales throughout the year, and there are a number of websites that can search available cars for you either regionally or nationally, such as AK Car Finder. These sites let you search by make, model, year and price.

3. Buy For Safety

Perhaps obviously, you want your teen to be as safe as possible when driving his or her new car. Numerous reputable organizations, such as Edmunds, Consumer Reports, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Kelley Blue Book all provide a lot of good data on all car makes and models that will help you make a decision. This is another advantage to buying used, as used cars have been on the market for a while and there will be more data about how reliable those cars have turned out to be.

4. Take Your Teen’s Preference Into Consideration

Remember, you’re buying this car for your teenager, not for you. That’s not to say get your new driver whatever he or she wants, but it’s important to take his or her preferences into consideration as well. For example, most teenagers are not going to want to have a minivan, even if they are relatively cheap and available. There are cheaper sporty cars that will likely fall within your budget and suit your teen just fine.

These tips should make buying your teen’s first car much easier on the both of you. Just do your research and take your time to shop, and you’re sure to arrive at a solution that will be agreeable to both of you.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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