The Best Used Cars for Teens
Ask for our current list of best used cars for teens. We will email you the report.
The recommendations are guided by four main principles:
Young drivers should stay away from high horsepower.
More powerful engines can tempt them to test the limits.
Bigger, heavier vehicles are safer. They protect better in a crash, and HLDI analyses of insurance data show that teen drivers are less likely to crash them in the first place. There are no minicars or small cars on the recommended list. Small SUVs are included because their weight is similar to that of a midsize car.
Electronic stability control (ESC) is a must. This feature, which helps a driver maintain control of the vehicle on curves and slippery roads, reduces risk on a level comparable to safety belts.
Vehicles should have the best safety ratings possible. At a minimum, that means good ratings in the IIHS moderate overlap front test, acceptable ratings in the IIHS side crash test and four or five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). IIHS has been conducting frontal tests since 1995 and side tests since 2003, so it is possible to factor these in even for relatively old vehicles. NHTSA's tests have been around even longer.