Buying a car for your teenage driver can be a bit of an overwhelming experience. There are a myriad of options in the used car market, and it’s difficult to tell which options are safe, reliable, and suitable for a new driver, not to mention within a very specific budget.
To save parents a bit of the hassle, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has come up with a list of their top safety picks in the used car market for a variety of budgets. The organization compiled crash safety rating data, as well as available or standard safety features, and used data from Kelley Blue Book to obtain pricing information.
The list is broken down into vehicle categories, including large and midsize cars, small and midsize SUVs, and minivans. Some notable picks include the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Ford Taurus, Toyota Highlander, and Honda CR-V.
The IIHS found that many teens are driving older small or subcompact cars that are cheap to buy and maintain but do not offer sufficient crash protection. This has become an issue in recent years, because teenagers killed in crashes are more likely to have been behind the wheel of these vehicles than adults. Among fatally injured teens from 2008 to 2012, 29% were killed in small or subcompact cars.
Along with their list of choices, the IIHS also specified some guidelines for parents shopping for a used car for their teen. Larger cars and SUVs generally provide better protection in the event of an accident, and vehicles equipped with electronic stability control are generally much less prone to crashes. Additionally, parents should avoid cars with high horsepower ratings that could tempt teens into speeding or driving recklessly.
The report also advises parents to check to see if the vehicle they are considering has been recalled, as close to 36 million vehicles have a pending recall in the U.S.
“It’s very difficult to get a safe vehicle for a teenager at the prices most people are paying,” said Anne McCartt, senior vice president for research at the IIHS. She also advises parents to consider paying a bit more than planned for a vehicle that will keep their child a lot safer.
You can find the full list of “best” and “good” choices for teen drivers here, via the IIHS.
Follow @NYDNAutos on Twitter for more automotive safety news.