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Buying a Vehicle

While your teen may want his or her own set of wheels, studies show young drivers who have a vehicle reserved for their use are twice as likely to have a crash as those who have to share a car with other family members.

If you are looking for a vehicle for your teen, here are some tips to help make a smart purchase decision:

Make Safety The Priority

New drivers need safe, affordable transportation. A mid-sized car is a good choice. Sports cars may tempt some teens to speed, while trucks and SUVs can be difficult to handle and are more prone to rollover crashes. Safety features to look for include:

  • Antilock braking systems (ABS)
  • Daytime running lights
  • Electronic stability control
  • Airbags
  • Adjustable/lockable head rests

Look for reliability

Whether new or used, buy a vehicle that comes with a warranty. If it’s used, have a pre-purchase inspection done to confirm the condition of the vehicle. You should also ask for its maintenance and repair records. Choosing a vehicle with lower mileage is generally a good idea.

Used Cars

Used cars tend to be more affordable in terms of their purchase price. To determine whether buying new or used is ultimately going to be most economical for you, also check your insurance and assess the monthly expenses associated.

Finally, because every new vehicle requires some getting used to, plan to spend some practice driving hours in the new car with your teen to make sure they’re comfortable before taking it out alone.

What will it cost?

If you’re looking for help calculating the true cost of a vehicle you’re thinking about buying, check out the CAA Driving Costs Tool. It will give you a calculation of the total expenses associated with your vehicle—beyond the purchase price.

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