It is the event that every parent dreads, your teenager has their driver's license and now you have to get them a car. Regardless of how careful a driver they are it is only natural to worry about them as they leave the roost to go driving on their own. Another issue that drives parents insane is the cost of insuring a car for their teen.
As a father of a 16 year old boy as well as having over 15 years experience on the automotive industry let me share some tips with you. Wow, it's hard to believe the baby you were watching take its first steps is already driving, I know it blows my mind how fast time has gone by and how the baby I could hold in one hand is now 6 feet tall and over 200 pounds! If you are like me one of your big concerns for your child is one of safety. My son is a safe driver, but it is sometimes other people on the road you have to be worried about. Bearing that in mind, I like to go for a more protective vehicle for a first car. I also had a good friend lose their daughter along with two other teenagers in a wreck as passengers in a Honda Civic.
My suggestion is to go with a larger vehicle. I am not telling you to buy them a Hummer or even a Suburban but stay away from the tiny little imports if safety is an issue. In addition, don't even consider a two seater, the insurance will eat you alive! There are a lot of studies about SUV's rolling over but I can tell you as one being involved in the automotive industry for a long time, I never saw it happen. I bought my son a Jeep Cherokee. It doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to get a vehicle like this either. I paid less than $5,000 for the vehicle I bought my son.
As long as you stay away from 4 wheel drive and keep the collision deductible high your insurance will be fairly reasonable as well. My son wanted a Dodge Neon at first, not only was the insurance higher but I would have worried about him constantly. In general you should follow a few guidelines. Never buy a two seater, stay away from 4 wheel drive vehicles, and don't buy vehicles with eight cylinder engines.
All of the factors I mentioned here will drive up insurance costs. Some of the cars that I consider to be safer are Volvos, larger and older BMW's like the 7 series, and even possible the Toyota Camry after 1993. I personally prefer an SUV and recommend models such as Jeep Cherokee, Ford Explorer, and the Toyota Landcruiser. Do your homework prior to that 16th birthday and you will be better prepared and also get better sleep at night.
Gregg Hall is a business consultant and author for many online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida with his 16 year old son. Get car care products for your car at http://www.stopwaxing.com