The Best Cars For Teenagers That May Help Lower Car Insurance Premiums

The Best Cars For Teenagers That May Help Lower Car Insurance Premiums

Many parents have a hard time deciding what car to buy for their teenager. There are too many options to choose from, and there’s always that constant worry about safety. They also have to deal with higher car insurance quotes.

If you’re a parent, the choice of car for your teen driver is crucial. Teens between the ages of 16 and 19 face a greater risk of getting into a car crash than any other age group. In fact, they’re 3 times more likely to get into a car crash than drivers who are at least 20 years old. Blame it on their hormones, exuberance, or inexperience, but this fact will certainly affect the insurance rate.

How to Choose a Car for a Teen Driver

You can mitigate this by choosing a safe and reliable car with good gas mileage and a reasonable price tag. Here are some car characteristics you should look for:

  • Don’t go for a subcompact. It’s not just about the “cool” factor, which is more important to your teen than to a parent like you. It’s just a physics fact – bigger and heavier cars are safer than smaller and lighter vehicles because they have bigger crush zones and hoods.

Large SUVs accounted for the lowest death rate by vehicle category in 2015, with just 13 fatalities per million registered vehicles. In contrast, the highest death rate is for mini cars with 64 fatalities per million vehicles.

  • Pay only up to $25,000 at the most. Anything higher is unnecessary. It doesn’t matter if you have the money. You need to teach your kid about responsible purchasing at a young age, and you don’t want them to develop an expensive taste for cars right off the bat.
  • The car must get a “good” rating for all 5 tests of the IIHS. “Good” is the highest rating you can get from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. If the car scores less than this in any of the 5 tests, it’s better to move on.
  • Check that the car is recommended by Consumer Reports. CR must rate the car as at least better than average for reliability. At least 60% of the owners surveyed by CR should also rate the ownership experience as “satisfactory.” That’s the nice thing about Consumer Reports—they offer a perspective that doesn’t have the hyperbole of car advertisements.
  • Good fuel mileage is a must. The gov’t fuel economy rating (not the advertised rating) must be at least 25 mpg in combined highway and city driving. Your teen will thank you if they have to pay for the gas themselves.
  • It should have the right list of accessories. These include at least 6 airbags, an automatic transmission, air conditioning, and of course locks. Other features you should look for are power windows, outboard mirrors, and a rearview camera.

Recommended Cars

Here are some car models that satisfy all these conditions:

  • Honda Accord LX Sedan. This midsized sedan costs about $23,000 and for $2k more you can get additional safety features like lane-departing warning and mitigation, collision-mitigating braking, and forward-collision warning.
  • Hyundai Sonata SE. This offers a comfy cabin and its warranties are excellent. The 185-HP engine consumes 30 mpg, while standard features include a 6-speaker audio system with a USB port.
  • Kia Soul Base. This costs less than $17,000 and even though it looks small it can carry almost as much cargo as the bigger Land Rover Range Rover Sport.
  • Mazda3 i Sport. It costs less than $20,000 and the fuel economy is 34 mpg. It looks sportier too.

Other cars you should look at include the Subaru Impreza 2.0i, Toyota Camry LE, and the Volkswagen Passat 1.8T S. Any of these models will get you more reasonable car insurance quotes than other car models.