If your teen will be driving soon, you'll probably be looking to buy another car. It's often best to buy an older, used car for a teen since insurance will be lower and the car will be more affordable. However, you want a car that is safe and dependable so your teen won't get stranded on the road. Here are a few tips for picking out a good used car for a new driver.
Check Crash Test Ratings
You can find crash testing information on older cars just like you can for new ones. This helps you buy a car that has a better chance of protecting your teen in the event of an accident. In addition to the rating of the vehicle, consider it's design. You may not want to let your child drive a top-heavy van or a small sports car until he or she has had plenty of driving experience. You may also want to avoid convertibles unless the car has a roll bar for added protection.
Look Into The Car's History
You can use the VIN number on the car to run a check on its history. This information can let you know if the car was in an accident previously or if it came from an area that was flooded after a hurricane or storm. You might even find maintenance records that let you know how well the car was taken care of by previous owners. This information can't guarantee your teen will get a good car, but it will help you weed out cars that might have problems not easily detectable otherwise.
Buy A Model With Parts That Are Easy To Find
Your teen may want an exotic foreign car, even if it is old and battered. However, buying a car with easy-to-find parts has its advantages. For one thing, you can teach your child the basics of changing the oil and doing other car maintenance if you can go to a parts store or junk yard and buy the parts you need. Plus, since the car is old, repairs are likely. The repairs will be less costly and they will be done quicker if parts won't need to be special ordered.
Also, once you find the ideal car, take it to a mechanic for a thorough inspection. Have the car serviced right away and replace tires and worn belts if necessary so your teen has a car that won't break down on the way to school or work. Buying a used car from a reputable dealer is a good idea as well since you may find a car with a warranty that protects you from major repair costs later on.