The 14 Best Used Cars for Teen Drivers
With summer being the time of year that’s most dangerous for teen drivers, the website CarInsurance.com has released a list of the 14 best used cars for teens, as Christopher Seward writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. And although (according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute) — as Jim Gorzelany writes for Forbes — teens are not as interested in cars or driving as they were 30 years ago, there are still teens out there behind the wheel (and all too often speeding, which leads to accidents, as this blog reported yesterday).
Whether you’re the parent of a reluctant driver or a teen who’s champing at the bit to get his or her license, it can be challenging to find an affordable used car that’s safe, reliable and economical and won’t bust the family budget with sky-high insurance rates. While the kid may want to own a beater Mustang GT, a clanky open-top Jeep Wrangler or an old repair-prone BMW, most of us with young drivers living at home would prefer he or she settle for a more rational choice.
Each of the cars on the CarInsurance.com list is from the 2009 model year, and is valued at $15,000 or less, according to Edmunds.com, as Forbes writes. In addition, the 14 cars are all rated by the Environmental Protection Agency to get 20 or more miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, have an average or better rating for annual repair visits according to TrueDelta.com, and have been named Top Safety Picks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Forbes writes.
All of the cars on the list were originally available with electronic stability control (which is now standard on all cars) that helps prevent a vehicle from spinning out of control in sudden or extreme handling, Forbes notes, quoting Des Toups, managing editor of CarInsurance.com: “Stability control is a godsend because it limits a lot of the dumb moves a young driver can make.”
CarInsurance.com did not consider pickups and SUVs because of auto safety concerns. Although some vehicles in those categories score well for safety, they are more prone to rollovers, the type of auto accident that stability control can’t easily prevent, CarInsurance.com consumer analyst Penny Gusner told Forbes. Gusner added that although there is a big difference in insurance rates among the cars on the list, “a teenage driver is going to pay a small fortune even if he chooses the most insurance-friendly car.”
Here is the list as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published it:
According to CarInsurance.com, the following vehicles, with average annual insurance premiums, are the best for teens. Prices are for an individual policy for an 18-year-old driver:
1. Ford Taurus: $3,322
2. Honda Accord: $3,334
3. Ford Fusion*: $3,494
4. Scion xB: $3,506
5. Subaru Legacy: $3,518
6. Volkswagen Jetta sedan: $3,524
7. Audi A3 2.0T: $3,622
8. Toyota Corolla*: $3,656
9. Subaru Impreza 2.5i: $3,732
10. Honda Civic four-door*: $3,738
11. Ford Focus coupe*: $3,800
12. Volkswagen Rabbit four-door: $3,974
13. Honda Fit Sport*: $3,976
14. Mitsubishi Lancer GTS*: $4,392
*Electronic stability control optional or available only on some models.