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The Best Cars for TeensWhen you have a young driver in your household, you have to make some difficult decisions about what kind of cars they should drive. On one hand, you don't want an inexperienced driver in a expensive new ride. On the other hand, you want that inexperienced driver to have something dependable. In this article, we’ll discuss the best options for teen drivers.

Worst Cars for Teen Drivers

First things first, there may be some cars you want to avoid. Sports cars might entice teen drivers to drive fast, while massive SUVs and full-size pick-up trucks can be a challenge for inexperienced drivers to maneuver and park.

Large vehicles also tend to have poor gas mileage, which can be prohibitive for teens trying to keep the tank full on the earnings of a part-time job.

Best Safety Features for Teen Drivers

With that being said, what features should you look for when you put your teenage driver behind the wheel? When it comes to teen drivers, safety matters most.

Keep your eyes open for vehicles that offer the following safety features:

    • Anti-lock brakes
    • Traction control
    • Stability control
    • Forward-collision warning
    • Blind-spot monitoring

Admittedly, these features tend to be found in newer cars more than used ones. Even when looking for used cars, newer ones tend to be better.

Other Key Features

Of course, safety can’t be your only deciding factor. Selecting a car for a teenage driver should also consider additional factors, such as:

        • Fuel economy
        • Mileage
        • Condition of the car
        • Manufacturer track record

Remember, these are the features that deserve the attention of any car buyer. Make this process a learning experience for your teen, showing him or her the features to look for and guiding the right selection.

Best Used Cars Under $20,000

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) has helpfully provided a list of the top used cars for teens based on safety records, gas mileage, and overall value. The top five best used cars under $20,000 (as of this publishing) are as follows:

        • 2017 Toyota Rav 4
        • 2018 Mazda CX-5
        • 2017 Honda CR-V
        • 2020 Toyota Corolla
        • 2019 Mazda3

These cars offer the best balance of size, safety features, and value for young drivers. They could be a good investment as your teen driver makes the transition into young adulthood.

Best Used Cars Under $10,000

Putting a teenager behind the wheel can be a challenge for families with a limited income. In some cases, the teen will have to pay for a significant portion of the vehicle, which can likewise become a teachable moment.

Kelley Blue Book reports that the best cars for under $10,000 are as follows:

        • 2014 Honda Accord
        • 2015 Toyota Camry
        • 2014 Mazda3
        • 2014 Toyota Corolla
        • 2015 Honda Civic

Keep in mind that the money you save on the initial purchase might offset the steep insurance premiums associated with new drivers.

In Conclusion

When it comes to teen drivers, safety matters most, but the best cars for teen drivers will also be known for their dependability. Parents can turn this search process into a teachable moment, helping their teen understand economics and the car-buying process.