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April 3, 2014

Four Tips for Buying the Right Used Car for Your Teenage Driver

The day that a teenager gets his or her first car is a very exciting day for everyone involved. The teenager cannot wait to get a taste of freedom and the open road, and the parents cannot believe their baby has grown up so quickly!

Of course, nothing stops the excitement dead in its tracks like choosing the wrong car. No one wants to buy or drive a car that is going to break down, need tons of repairs or encourage their teenager to be reckless. When it comes time to help your teenager pick out the right car, be sure to use these four car buying tips to get your teenage driver in the right used car.

1. Choose a Safe Car

Even after they have passed their driving test and gotten their license, teenager drivers still have a lot of practice to do before they become expert drivers. Getting your teenager in a car with several safety features should be your first priority in case he or she does get into a wreck. Choose a car that isn’t too large or too small, that has airbags, that has good anti-lock breaks, and that is in excellent working condition. Be sure to check out the car’s accident report history to see if it has been in a wreck previously, if that information is available.

2. Choose a Car With Less Power

Buying your teenager a car that is made for speed will only encourage him or her to do so. Choose a smaller engine over a larger engine when you have the choice. Avoid cars that are made to go at top speed or that have special features made for cruising. If you are still not sure if you can trust your teen driver, you can also install a car tracking device that records driving details, letting you know all about your teenager’s driving habits, even when you aren’t there.

3. Choose a Car With Technology

While the wrong kind of technology can get teenagers in trouble on the road — think texting and driving — the right kind can help keep them safe. For example, AAA offers a device that provides parents with speed and curfew alerts. It just plugs right into the dashboard. Also, both Hyundai and Ford offers cars with a feature that lets parents block teenagers from receiving incoming text messages while they are driving.

4. Choose a Car With Some Life Left In It

Buying a used car requires a certain amount of balance. You don’t want a nice, expensive car for your teenager to ruin, but you don’t want a car that is so old that it will break down on him or her or cost an arm and a leg in repairs either. Choose something that is affordable, but that will last for several years to come. Don’t just consider the upfront cost of the car. Also consider the cost of maintenance and the cost to replace the car when it breaks down.

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