As a parent, your child’s safety is of the utmost importance. When they are kids, you are better able to control their environment and, therefore, safety. But as they get older, the worry grows as they go off to school, go to friends’ houses, go on dates, start driving and (gasp!) graduate from high school.
As your teen gets ready for the next stage in his life, you can ensure he is equipped with a vehicle that will keep him as safe as possible. Here is a roundup of expert tips and advice to help you keep your graduate as safe as possible on the road — without breaking the bank.
Do's and Don’ts
For teen drivers, it’s important to find a vehicle that is safe. But what is the best way to do that? Listen to those who know.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) suggests that young, inexperienced drivers should steer clear of vehicles with high horsepower, as the power in the engine can lead to reckless driving. The experts also say that larger, heavier cars are generally safer as they offer better protection in the event of a car accident. Further, statistics show that teens are less inclined to get in an accident in larger cars like SUVs.
Cars with the highest safety ratings are the safest bet (four- or five-star rating) for young drivers. And cars with electronic stability control are all but a necessity, as the feature helps drivers keep the car under control on icy roadways. The IIHS also offers a list of best used vehicles for young people. The list offers cars under $20,000 with four- or five-star ratings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Tips of the trade
Finding a quality vehicle for the best price can be challenging. However, tried and true tips from the experts can help.
According to Bankrate.com, it is key to know your budget if you are planning on purchasing a car in 2016. While this may seem obvious, the experts suggest that you don’t spend more than a quarter of your monthly income on all of your household’s vehicles. This should include, they say, not only your payment, but gas and the cost to insure your car.
In addition, when considering purchasing a used car for your graduate, prices can vary substantially depending on the geographical location you buy it from. Some locales simply offer more affordability. Therefore, your local car dealer may not be the best option. Searching within cities that have the best used car market is a smart move, including Miami, New York City and Cleveland, which offer the high value.
On DriveTime.com, you can easily research and purchase used cars in a variety of areas. You can also search over 8,000 used vehicles from 100 dealerships across the nation, read reviews and get approval online quickly. This can make your car search quick and painless.
Above all, safety, affordability and longevity are all key when purchasing a car, especially for your teen. The car you ultimately end up buying is much more than helping him get from point A to point B. It is your peace of mind in knowing your child is as safe as possible on the road they travel.