July 10, 2024
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 Used Car Buying Tips for Your Teen Driver

Remember those nights when your little one kept you up every hour with their non-stop crying? You begged, pleaded, and bargained for even a single minute of sleep. Well, those endless nights are over, and your little one is all grown up and becoming more independent. Now, all you wish is for them to be that cute and adorable toddler again when all they needed was you.

However, growing up is inevitable, and once your child reaches 16, it’s a rite of passage for them to spread their wings and fly. This typically starts with their first car. For all parents, this moment is terrifying. Just the thought of your child behind the wheel can make your heart drop, but they have to start somewhere. To give yourself peace of mind, you need to take time to deep-think and find the perfect car for your teen to drive. When searching for their first ride, consider these used car-buying tips below.

This age-old question has been asked since cars first began rolling out. Should I buy a used car or a new car? Both come with their benefits and drawbacks. However, most families can’t afford to buy a $30,000 car for their teenager, especially when they need to put them through college in a few years.

When you’re looking for used cars for sale, you need to understand your teen is going to be very image-conscious. This means it’s best to sit down with your child to go over your budget and look for a car that suits their personality and your wallet. Sure, they most likely won’t end up with a Maserati. And, a car that’s missing hubcaps or a fender isn’t going to do the trick either. This is why you need to find a vehicle that fills that happy medium.

The benefit of searching for used cars is that there are tons of them to choose from. Whether you go to a car dealership or search online, it’s important you compile a hefty list. When you visit them in person, you want to make sure the mileage of the car isn’t out the roof and there’s no extensive wear and tear, so your teen doesn’t end up driving home in a lemon. When you test drive your selection of used cars, there are a few additional specs you should take note of, which are discussed below.

Putting your child in a metal box on wheels can be nerve-racking. That’s why the most important component to check when looking for a car for your son or daughter is the safety features. Luckily, used cars today are safer than ever. When you think about your first car, you probably shudder thinking of the idea of your child behind that wheel. Each year, however, cars come with more advanced safety features, which means older used cars are more up-to-date compared to your old jalopy and are safer in the event of a car accident.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has more used cars added to their list than ever before. You can even look at crash-test ratings of the vehicles you’re looking at on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute websites. Your teen driver most likely isn’t thinking about safety features, which is why you should keep them top of mind and inform them about ways to drive safely. Additional safety features most used cars come with that you should consider include:

Another thing to consider when looking for a used car for your teen driver is the car’s horsepower. Your son or daughter will probably get the urge to flex on their friends once or twice the moment they get behind the wheel of their flashy new ride. This is why it’s important you teach them about their car and safe driving habits.

To prevent them from doubling the speed limit, opt for a larger car that has a slower 0-60 acceleration speed. If they’re driving a sports car, they may develop the need for speed and start racing others. On the other hand, a larger car such as an SUV or Sedan, are much safer due to their overall weight. So if a serious accident does occur, they will be more protected. There are plenty of monitoring apps that can show you the location and speed of your child and prevent distractions, too, so you can rest assured knowing they’re abiding by the law.

Finally, you want to look at the entertainment features included in the car. You want your teen to have an enjoyable experience when it comes to driving their first car, but you also want to make sure they’re safe too. This is why it’s important you enroll them in a driving class and to educate them on keeping music at a lower level and not texting and driving. Once they know the rules of the road and safe driving habits, they’ll know how to use their car’s entertainment features responsibly and cut down on distracted driving. Some features to look for include:

Buying a used car for your teen driver is a significant milestone in both of your lives. The most important thing when searching for a used car is to keep them safe. With so much life ahead of them, you want to ensure they make smart decisions behind the wheel and are fully protected with top-rated safety features. With this guide in mind, you’ll know exactly what to look for when browsing the lot.

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