Finding The Right Car For New Drivers

Parents buy first cars for their first-time teen drivers. While the teen may jump at color and flash, the parent has bigger interests in safety and economy. Ford dealerships have a large selection of cars just right for new drivers.

New Cars

Any dealing with teenagers calls for some compromise. You want budget, and your teen wants image. You would be smart to stick with new. The latest cars have the most safety equipment, some of which can assist the new driver, such as anti-lock brakes, stability control, and head-protecting air-bags. On the other hand, new cars bring higher insurance costs.

Parents may also take comfort in larger vehicles because of their weight and crash endurance. But, here, too, there is a cost factor, and more important, young drivers are likely to find big SUVs or pick-up trucks hard to handle and manage safely. Cars in the Ford Fusion class are prized for their maneuverability, safety, and fuel economy, so you might begin your test drives with a Fusion.

Used Cars

Sedans are the go-to option. The Kelly Blue Book provides good insight into resale values, but most Ford dealerships have websites where you can shop for cars and assess their value and financing. You can shop reliability, fuel economy, and odometer readings. Many dealers also identify used cars as having “one owner,” an indication that the car pleased its owner and has not been over-driven.

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You can determine how fast a car will move 0-60 and how long its braking distance takes. With that info, you can direct a teen towards something with less power. You can research the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) reports on crash-tests and which cars had electronic stability control (ESC). And, make sure the used car has a “certified pre-owned” status.

Best choices:

  • Mid-size sedans: Sedans are the choice of millions. They are stable, comfortable, and good looking, they serve a lot of purposes. They do not encourage speeding, recklessness, or off-the-road adventures.
  • Hatchbacks: These small wagons run errands. They drive to school, to work, and to the store. They can be young and dynamic in design like the Ford Escape or the Fiesta, both of which have terrific EPA ratings.
  • Sub-compacts: These small green urban cars are very popular. Many are hybrids and most get great mileage. Safety may still be a parent’s concern, but they are worth researching because are trying hard to address the concern.
  • SUVs: Big SUVs are intimidating, but crossovers and mid-size SUVs can be attractive if the teen is outdoorsy and active. Cars in the Ford Edge or Escape class will take them biking or hiking safely.

You and your first-time driver have more options than you think. Check your Ford dealerships and their inventories.

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