When driving to school and back is your teen being safe, it all begins with the type of car they are driving.
The goods news is that parents looking for a safe, affordable vehicle for their teen driver have many more options than just a year ago, theInsurance Institute for Highway Safety announced last week with the release of its new, updated recommendations for used vehicles for teens. The list has grown by more than 50 percent since the group’s initial report in 2014, even though the price and safety criteria haven’t changed since last year, the group said.
“Time is on the consumer’s side,” Anne McCartt, the institute’s senior vice president for research, said in a statement. “It’s easier than ever to find a used vehicle with must-have safety features and decent crash test performance without spending a fortune.”
The institute, a nonprofit financed by the insurance industry, compiled its first list of recommended used vehicles after finding that the vast majority of parents who bought a vehicle for their teen driver bought it used.
“The prices for most of the vehicles we recommend for young, novice drivers are still higher than what a lot of people are used to spending,” McCartt added. “We would encourage parents to consider paying a little more for safety if they can.”
Whether it’s from another person or from a dealership, it’s important to take your time and be diligent when buying a used car. Follow these tips from other drivers and you should have no problem at all.
Know your limit.
I’m talking financially and, in a way, logically. What I mean is “I have $5000 to buy this compact sedan so I save money, drive my small family and can park in the city much…oooooo look a mustang!” isn’t logical and beyond what you need (no matter what your inner child says).
Do your research.
The most important thing I do and I’ve bought/sold a total of 20 used cars in as many years without ever having bought a lemon is:
Research the model to death (sometimes to a fault) to understand what model I want, known weak points, typical repair and cost intervals and price points. I use fan/blogs for that model vehicle when possible.
Go to used car auctions.
You likely won’t be able to do a pre-vehicle inspection with your mechanic, but you will have a good opportunity to save a lot of money. You may have some gremlins to deal with, but overall you’ll probably come out on top.
My Dad has done this on his last 3 Volvo’s and despite the mechanical issues he ran into with 2 out of 3 of them, he was thousands ahead of the curve compared to what e-bay or dealerships wanted for the same make, model, and year.