As the new year approaches, you may have a teen driver in your household who is about to take their G1 or G2 road test. As your nerves are starting to rise, just know there is a lot of research and information out there to ease your concerns. So, before your teen drivers hit the road, there are a few things you should consider beforehand.
Where to start the car hunt for teen drivers?
When looking for the best car for your teen, it is more than simply buying a vehicle. With car supply shortages still impacting car sales, a newer vehicle isn’t always a possibility, at least not right away. But how reliable are used vehicles? And how much of a difference is it to insure a used vehicle over a new one? Let’s start by looking at the four main categories to consider when car hunting for your teen:
1. Safety of the vehicle
Your teenagers’ safety is of the utmost importance. Therefore, a car with significant safety features and design should be a top priority, as well as reliability. Most cars come with airbags, anti-lock brakes, power steering, tire monitoring, and stability control. Additionally, some of the newer technology includes a backup camera and sensors, park-assist, blind-spot warning, adaptive headlights, and forward-collision warning.
2. Price of the vehicle
Since it is your teenager, you don’t want to be buying them something like a BMW or Mercedes Benz as their first car. Finding an affordable vehicle is a better buy than something expensive and flashy. Not only is it easier on the wallet, but they often come with extra safety features in exchange for the glitz of fancier cars.
3. Cost to insure the vehicle
Much like how the price of a car should be a consideration, insurance costs matter, as well. It’s good to know how much you can expect to pay for your teen’s auto insurance. The short answer is that for a family living in the GTA, it can cost you as little as $500 to add an 18-year-old child as an occasional driver to your vehicle. However, it can also cost as much as $3,000 or more if you decide to get them a used vehicle. Taking into account monthly payments, gas, and maintenance, the cost of auto insurance for a driver under 25 can sometimes be your biggest cost, and certainly worth considering.
If you want to find out how much a car will cost to insure, request a quote from us today. If your teenager is a great student, they could be eligible for a discount on their insurance, too. Check this post for a full list of auto insurance discounts.
4. Conditions they will be driving in
If you live in Toronto, your teenager will be driving in different conditions than if they are driving in rural Ontario. That’s something important to consider when finding the best car for teen drivers. In a rural area where winter impacts road conditions, a larger vehicle (SUV/truck) will be the safer investment.
How is the safety level of vehicles for teen drivers determined?
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) experiments with cars to determine safety levels. They also put out their recommendations to the public to help parents select a car for their teenagers. The current year’s list looks at all available cars and creates a list based on various factors.
Some of the criteria the IIHS looks at when ranking cars are:
- Head restraint tests
- Dry braking distances (145 m or less going from 60mph to 0 mph)
- Typical mileage
- Above-average scores from CR.
To access the full list, click here.
What are the best cars to insure for teen drivers?
Certain types of car makes are less to insure than others. Insurers track all the costs involved in claims and can link them back to specific models. Vehicle type, accidents, repairs, theft, and safety ratings for the vehicle have a significant impact on the rate.
As insurance for young drivers is typically much more expensive compared to those with experience, choosing the right vehicle can help with managing these expenses. Some points to keep in mind when considering the best cars for teen drivers are:
- Look for a compact small car or SUV.
- Look into finding a used vehicle that isn’t too old.
- Keep safety ratings and features in mind when shopping. The safer the car, the greater the savings can be.
- Be aware of the make and models that are mostly targeted and stolen.
To help shoppers of all ages choose a budget-friendly, dependable, and safe vehicle, Consumer Reports (CR) and the IIHS jointly released their annual Teen Vehicle List. It contains the two organizations’ top recommendations based on criteria, like safety, practicality, and affordability.
If you have any questions about how a teen driver in your family may affect your auto insurance policy, reach out to a member of our isure team today.