New or Used Car for Your Teenager?

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Written By Online Figure

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A lot goes through one’s mind when deciding on what car to buy the newly minted license holder of the family. Should you go for a new car or an old car? Should you purchase or lease? Should you go for a sedan or an SUV? These are all legit questions that need to be considered carefully before taking the plunge and buying any vehicle. The biggest deciding factors tend to be the safety features and the cost of the car, along with a good fuel mileage so it remains affordable for the foreseeable future. While all these aspects are important, the car also needs to have a sleek design and modern interiors.

Table of Contents

Set the Budget

The first thing you should do is set a realistic budget for the car. How much are you willing to pay overall? This budget should include the registration fees and the upfront cost that needs to be paid for the car. Maintenance fees, petrol/gas costs, insurance costs, and annual parking fees (if applicable) should also be considered while deciding the budget.

Type of Car

It is crucial to decide the type of car that would suit the driver. Asking yourself the following question might help to narrow it down

  • Will the car be used solely by the teenager or will the other family members be using it as well?
  • Will the car be used for short routes only? Or be used for long rides?
  • How many passengers are likely to be in the car at any given time? Is it better to have a bigger vehicle like an SUV? Will the new driver be able to handle a big car? Then perhaps a hatchback will be a better alternative.

New or Used

This is an age-old question when it comes to deciding the type of car to buy for the new driver of the family. A used car would be a lot economical. It would also ease the parent’s minds if the car gets get dents here and there, as the car was old and used and not a lot of money was invested in the purchase.

However, there is some risk with this decision – mainly, the safety features. The newer car will most likely have the updated technology and safety features that might be lacking in the older used car.

Safety Features

Some of the safety features to look for in a car for new drivers are:

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) to ensure the car remains steady and secure if the terrain is uneven and dangerous.
  • Automatic Emergency Brakes in case the car needs to be stopped immediately.
  • Forward Collision Warning to aid in parking and helping the driver get acquainted with leaving adequate space in front of the car.
  • Airbags at the side and front of the car so the driver is as safe as possible in case of an accident.
  • Rear-view cameras for easy parking and safe reversing of the vehicle.
  • Lane Departure Warning is also great to ensure the car remains in its proper lane to avoid any accidents.

Fuel Mileage

Having cars with higher horsepower, worn-out tires and consistent use of AC can negatively affect fuel usage. So, it is important to make sure the car you purchase has an economical fuel mileage to maintain the affordability for a long time.


Take some time and look around for more options on which car has the features that are more important to you.

According to US News, in extensive tests and polls conducted covering over 45 plus elements researched, it was found the car parents and teens leaned towards the most is the Honda Fit 2020. It even won US News’s 2020 Best New Cars for Teens award. It earned the highest points for its safety features, reliable performance, and multi-purpose trunk space, and roomy interiors.

Second place was given to Volkswagen GTI 2020. While the car was roomy with luxurious interiors, it lost crucial points for its poor fuel economy and being high-priced. While the Honda Civic Model was placed third, gaining high marks for its performance and its sleek exterior design and expansive and modern interiors.

Apart from the technical aspect, try to get your teen involved in the decision-making process as they will be the ones primarily using the car. This process can be lengthy and extensive, but it is a big milestone in their lives and yours! So, don’t forget to enjoy it.