How to Help Your Teen Find the Perfect Starter Car

Finding the right car is an important decision once your teen is ready to drive. The right vehicle can help your teen stay safe on the road and make smart decisions while driving to avoid accidents or injury. There are a few factors to consider when you’re searching for a car, such as price, reliability, and safety. Here are some ways to narrow down your decision and help your teen achieve the milestone of getting their first car.


Since this is likely your top priority when searching for a starter vehicle for your child, avoid cars that are too flashy. Sports cars or vehicles that are designed for performance could encourage your teen to speed or engage in drag racing, which could be dangerous.

It’s also a good idea to avoid pickup trucks and SUVs since these automobiles are more likely to roll over in a car crash. The size and weight of these vehicles makes them especially sturdy, but you may want to hold off on a truck or SUV until your teen has more driving experience. Choose a mid- or full-size car that is a few years old; these cars tend to have modern safety features and enough weight to protect your teen should an accident occur.

Make sure the car has airbags on the driver and passenger side. If possible, choose a vehicle with side and curtain airbags as well for more protection. Cars that have an anti-lock braking system and seat belt reminders are a great choice for first-time drivers as well.

Once you find a car that seems like an ideal choice, check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website to find safety ratings.


Before you buy a car, you want to make sure the automobile is reliable. Before you make your purchase, ask about the car’s warranty. Make sure you know the length of the warranty and what the warranty covers. Have the car thoroughly inspected to check for water damage, which can decrease the life of the vehicle. Make sure mileage on the car isn’t too high. If the vehicle has over 12,000 miles for each year of its “life,” the car may not be as reliable as you may think. Check the records for the car to see that regular maintenance has been performed on the vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website will also let you know whether the vehicle has been recalled. If you live in or near the Gillette area, search for used cars near Gillette, Wyoming to find an affordable, reliable car near you.

Responsibility and Price

Shop around for the right car and the right car loan. In some cases, a dealership may not offer the best terms for an automobile loan. Once you’re seriously considering a used car, ask a third-party mechanic to inspect the vehicle.

Make sure your teen knows all about the costs associated with owning a vehicle, such as insurance, loans, maintenance, and gas. Your young driver should also know how much traffic tickets cost as an incentive for driving safely. You can also teach your teen how to manage the responsibility of a car by coming up with an agreement, i.e. you pay for insurance if your teen agrees to keep gas in the car.

Buying a starter car for your teen can be an exciting time for your family. While you may be nervous about your teenager being on the road, you’ll likely feel a sense of relief when you know that your son or daughter is in a vehicle that is safe and reliable. It is also important to ensure that your insurance policy is intact so you’ll have the security of knowing that your child is covered any time they get on the road. The right starter vehicle and a great insurance policy are necessary tools to help your teen comfortably step into this new phase of life.

In this article

Join the Conversation