The research is pretty clear-- the best car for a new teen driver is no car at all. I have written much about the fact that experts say kids who get their own car as teens are much more likely to crash soon thereafter. But teens who are required to use the family car or have limited access to a car, fair much better.
That being said, parents are often compelled to provide a car for their teens for family convenience sake or out of necessity. When that is the case, it's important to choose a car that is safe. Kiplinger Financeprovides a list of new cars that are most suitable for families with young drivers. Based on what seems to me to be solid criteria, the folks at Kiplinger conclud that the Kia Soul is the best new car buy for the adolescents among us. In addition, they conclude that the 2008 Scion xB is the best used car buy.
If you are in the market for your teen's first car, you might shop with the Kiplinger criteria in mind. They are as follows:
2. Ownership Costs- Determine and compare sticker price versus standard features, and mileage costs.
3. Insurance and Repair Costs- Also insurance and repair costs. Insurance is a big ticket item for families with teens. And repair analysis should focus on the kind of warranty a particular car company offers on their new vehicles. Click HERE to see which cars cost the most and the least to insure.
4. Resale Value- Everyone know you take a big hit in the value of a new car just by driving it off the lot. But a little Blue Book study helps determine just how much of a hit you're going to take for the models you are considering. Click HERE for the Kelly Blue Book online.
5. Speed and Power- Your idea of what is ideal for your teen is not likely going to coincide with your teen's idea in this area. But the rational parent knows that handing over mega horsepower to new driver is not a good idea. Opting for a 0-to-60 that is on the lower (slower) end of the spectrum is the right way to go for your teen.
6.Coolness Factor- Chances are you will have to do some negotiating and compromising in this area. My approach would be to tell my teen that anything motorized on four wheels is cooler than being on foot. That would be the extent of my compromise. But that's just me!
Once the folks at Kiplinger took in all of these factors, they concluded with the Kia Soul as their 2010 for best buy for a teen driver. Click HERE to see the details behind their decision.
...and Good Luck with yours!
Gina Carroll is the author of recently released, 24 Things You Can Do With Social Media to Help Get Into College, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Borders.