It used to be that parents looking to buy their teenagers their first car would first look at older big used cars. The feeling was that an old big car would not only be cheaper, but safer as their kids first car. But things have changed in the last few years and what used to make sense a few years ago doesn’t any more. Now people are going for the safety and reliability of newer cars.
According to the National Safety Council, a nonprofit group, advances in safety technology mean that old big cars are no longer the best choice for young adults, and any new driver for that matter. The number one killer of teenagers is automobile crashes and the new safety technology can be a factor in reducing the chances of those crashes.
New safety technology can help provide “extra eyes and ears” for rookie drivers. Systems include forward collision warning, which warns of an impending crash; blind spot monitoring, to help with changing lanes safely; lane departure warning, to alert drivers who are drifting; and automatic emergency braking, which applies the brakes to avoid a collision.
All this added safety comes at a price and it’s not always cheap. But how much is the safety of a child worth? Parents are now being forced to buy as much safety as they can afford. So how does one go about shopping?
Used cars are often the first choice for families because of their lower prices. If this is the choice, it’s best to look at model years starting at 2012, when electronic stability control was required. With new cars the choices are varied in both price and features. With all the new safety features available the paradigm has changed, and old used car are no longer the first choice when it comes to a teens first car.