The Smart Choice for Teen Drivers: Why a Used Car Might Be Safer

5 April 2024
 Categories: , Blog

When it comes to teenagers and driving, safety is paramount. But navigating the world of car buying for your new driver can be just as daunting as the task of learning the rules of the road. Parents often grapple with the decision between the lure of shiny new cars and the practicality of used ones. In the interest of safety and budget, a robust case can be made for the latter. Here's why used cars may offer a better choice for teen drivers. 

The Safety Factor

Teens are the group most at risk for auto accidents. Inexperience, distraction, and a tendency to take risks make the first year of driving a particularly hazardous time. With older vehicles, especially those built before the widespread introduction of safety features such as electronic stability control and advanced airbags, the cost of accidents can be significantly higher.

Safety organizations continuously update their rankings to include the latest features and models with the best safety track records. By choosing a used vehicle that ranks highly in safety tests, parents can provide a secure option that also fits within their budget.


The costs associated with being a teen driver go beyond the price of the vehicle. New cars often come with higher insurance premiums, more extensive warranties not typically utilized, and the inevitable depreciation that occurs when new cars are driven off the lot—teen drivers are especially prone to minor damages, which can quickly add up.

Used cars have already depreciated, so the hit isn’t as significant. This leaves room for reliable yet affordable models with the added budget flexibility to ensure proper maintenance and, if necessary, repairs. By purchasing a cost-effective used car for your teen, you can manage expenses and teach the value of frugality — all without sacrificing safety.

Practical Considerations

A used car can offer pragmatic teaching opportunities, from understanding and maintaining a vehicle to learning how to handle minor issues. This practical approach instills a sense of responsibility and can lead to more conscientious driving habits, which contribute greatly to overall safety.

Parents should still invest time in checking the car's history, getting a mechanical inspection, and ensuring the vehicle is equipped with stability control and curtain airbags. With careful selection and preparation, a used car can be the smartest, safest choice for your teen driver. 

The pathway to choosing the ideal vehicle for your teen might indeed lead to the used car lot. Not only do used cars offer robust safety options at a lower cost, but they also present invaluable teaching moments as your teen takes their first steps toward independence.

If you'd like to buy used cars, contact a local dealership.