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Savvy Tips & Helpful Hints

The Best Car Brands for Teen Drivers

Teen drivers are more likely to be involved in car crashes due to a lack of driving experience. This is why most parents are terrified of sending their teen driver out on the road for the first time.

That terror that most parents feel is understandable for a variety of reasons, including the numerous dangers involved with driving, especially for novice teen drivers. Parents have to consider the dangers of the road when thinking about buying a vehicle.

Aside from finding the best insurance for new drivers, they have to look for a car brand that has the latest safety mechanisms and driving surveillance. They also have to find a car that isn’t too pricey or flashy for a teenager to drive.

Parents will have some peace of mind with a reliable vehicle. And, by the end of this article, you will have a better comprehension of the car brands that are appropriate for your adolescent.

Knowing (& Following) the Rules of the Road

To better understand which car brand is ideal for your teenage driver, you have to understand the rules of the road. This understanding will assist you in choosing a brand that helps your teen adhere to the rules as best as possible. 

The rules of the road are always changing, and as a parent of a teen driver, being up to date with them can be beneficial because you would be driving with a novice driver. 

Staying up to speed on the laws of the road will help to deter accidents from occurring so your teen would be mindful of the dangers of driving recklessly or against the law.

Even taking monthly educational courses to learn more about cars, insurance, and discounts associated with safe driving could help motivate you all to keep informed about current road laws.

Enforcing Teen Driving Rules for Your Household

As a parent, you know how difficult driving at night can be, particularly for those with astigmatism or who need prescription glasses. To steer through the darkness while keeping an eye out for possible hazards, a professional driver is needed. 

This is why several states have graded driver licensing (GDL) programs in place, which prohibit minors from driving after a certain time at night. Setting a curfew is even a common tip for parents of teens

According to annual data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teenagers have a higher risk of causing an accident, whether they are driving with other teens or a group of adults. This is mainly due to the fact that more people means more distraction.

You may be able to drive in the dark as an adult, but an inexperienced driver like your teen may not. Another provision correlated with GDL laws is that a teen can’t travel in a vehicle with more than a certain number of passengers.

Following strict driving rules with your teen, even if your state lacks GDLs, is a great way to ensure they are driving safely, and finding a car brand that helps you follow those driving rules makes the entire ordeal easier. 

Top Vehicle Choices for Teen Drivers

While automobiles are usually a large investment, there are a range of vehicles on the market that provide reasonable costs, as well as safety features, fuel efficiency, and long-term durability. Five of the top automobile manufacturers for young drivers are listed below.

#1 – Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry is consistently rated as one of the best cars for teenagers and one of the best-selling cars in the U.S. 

Unfortunately, Camry owners like to keep their cars for a long time, making a Camry under $10,000 and low mileage difficult to come by. So unless you buy this car brand new, you will have to search thoroughly for one with low mileage that is not too expensive. 

A six-speed manual or automatic transmission is available on newer Camrys (2011 models and up), as well as a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty. If you can find a used Toyota Camry for sale, it’s a perfect first car with high crash safety ratings, which can lower anxiety over getting into an accident and having to follow specific steps after an accident occurs.

The Camry also has excellent endurance, reliability, and fuel economy.

#2 – Honda Civic

For years, the Honda Civic has been one of the most popular compact cars in America, thanks to a great mix of price, features, safety, durability, and resale value. The versatility and mix of safety and affordability make it one of the most common vehicles among teenagers.

The Civic gets great gas mileage, with an EPA-estimated average of about 31 mpg. 

Civics with newer models and reduced mileage usually cost more than $10,000. Similar to a Toyota Camry, finding a used one for under $10,000 with low mileage is challenging.

From 2009 to 2017, the Honda Civic was an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick last year, and The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has consistently given the newer models (2012 and up) a five-star overall safety ranking in virtually every configuration.

#3 – Nissan Altima

Since 2014, every Nissan Altima model has received a five-star NHTSA safety ranking. 

On the highway, the four-cylinder engine with continuously variable transmission will achieve an EPA-estimated fuel economy of around 38 mpg. Newer models have extended longevity that can carry a teenager later into their mid 20s. 

Bluetooth networking and intelligent key remote engine start are common features on all models, and models from 2016 and later have a rearview camera.

#4 – Ford Focus

Newer Ford Focus cars (2015 and up) get an EPA-estimated average of 31 mpg and have been named a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS. 

The 2015 Focus was the first car to come equipped with a regular backup camera that included blind-spot monitoring and lane departure alerts. Ford also provides MyKey, a software that allows parents to program a key to set speed and radio volume limits, as well as seat-belt warnings.

Each model of Ford Focus received a five-star overall safety ranking from the NHTSA from 2012 to 2018. Unfortunately, Ford discontinued the Focus in 2019, but you can still find a used Focus with good mileage for around the $10,000 price range

#5 – Hyundai Sonata 

Since 2011, all gas-powered Sonatas have received a five-star NHTSA safety ranking and, with the exception of 2014, have received the IIHS Top Safety Pick designation, making them a simple option as one of the top cars for young drivers.

Newer Hyundai Sonatas come with a five-year, 60,000-mile warranty and an average highway fuel economy of 34 mpg. A hybrid variant of the Sonata is also available, which offers even better fuel economy.

Normal safety features include front and side curtain airbags, as well as stability control on base models.

Helpful Safety Features for Teen Drivers

Four of the most critical safety equipment for vehicles are airbags, anti-lock braking, adaptive headlights, and stability control. When looking for a new vehicle, protection should still come first.

What safety measures you need are determined by your location, the size of the vehicle, and the environment prevalent in your city. You’ll be more likely to pick the best vehicle for your teenager’s needs if you have a general understanding of the safety features to look for and how they operate.


Imani Francies writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsuranceComparison.com. She enjoys helping people find the safest car and the best auto insurance policy that meet their specific needs.

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One Comment

  • megan allen

    I agree with these choices for teens! My daughter will be 13 in September..I know it seems like a long time before she’s behind a wheel..but thats not that long! Thanks for sharing this helpful information!

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