Should You Buy a New Car or Used Car for Your Teenager?

It’s that moment you have dreaded. Your teenager wants a car. Should you get one new or used? Your budget may decide the choice, or maybe you have an aging relative who wants to give up the car.

If you live in a suburb, your teen who now has a busier social schedule also needs to become more responsible. Having a car is a rite of passage to adulthood before the next landmark on the road to maturity – going off to college.  But you know that young drivers can be dangerous drives. Immaturity and inexperience can be a harmful combination. Six teenagers perish in road accidents according to research by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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The Advantages of Buying a New Car for a Teen Driver

A new car comes with a warranty and may come with dealer incentives like free scheduled maintenance and attractive financing options.  New vehicles also have advanced technology, better safety, and improved fuel economy. Features like an airbag, tire pressure indicator, rear-view camera, electronic stability control that stabilizes the vehicle, and collision detector help a young driver become comfortable behind the wheel and brings more peace of mind to parents. This also helps to reduce insurance rates.

What comes as standard in new cars may not be available in older cars and could be vital in the event of an emergency or dangerous incident on the road that makes the difference between fatal or survivable injuries. As statistics indicate teens are more likely to have accidents than any other age group and be more prone to fatal crashes than drivers who are at least 20 years old, better safety features are of paramount importance.

The Advantages of a Used Car is Better for a Teen Driver

Rash teenagers are more likely to crash their cars than older drivers. The type of vehicle a teenager drives plays a role in the potential for injury and accidents. Used cars are budget-friendly, but parents need to research which years and car models are suitable, and they should also take their potential maintenance costs into account.

Usually, midsize and larger cars are safer than small cars, as the fatality rate is about twice as high in smaller cars. has listed used vehicles suitable for teenage drivers, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has a list of recommended used cars for teenagers.

Worth Investing in a Car Camera

Safety considerations should include technologies capable of reducing distracted driving. Distracted driving is a growing cause of accidents involving young drivers. New technology has made teen driving more hazardous, so parents need to keep that in mind. A study by Liberty Mutual found that nearly half of the teens surveyed admitted to using music apps; while an AAA study found that half of the teen drivers admitted to texting and driving.

Talking with friends, texting, or listening to music are distractions that keep immature drivers from paying attention while driving. Car cameras that keep an eye on your teen’s driving are worth buying irrespective of whether you select a new or used car for your teenager. A responsible choice will bring peace of mind along with driving freedom for the young driver.

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