Safety Officials Release First-Ever List of Best Used Cars for Teens

Updated: 07/16/2014 9:51 PM
Created: 07/16/2014 4:34 PM
By: Cassie Hart

Each year many teenagers get behind the wheel for the first time and join the fleet of drivers on the road. However, the cars they're driving aren't always the newest or necessarily the safest.

With that in mind, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety compiled its first-ever list of best used cars for teens.

The IIHS recently surveyed 500 parents of teen drivers and found 83 percent of parents who purchased a vehicle for their teen bought it used. The reason is a new car, with all the safety bells and whistles, is out of the family budget.

"We realize parents are working within a budget, but we're hoping they'll consider safety. They’ll think about the high-crash risk that teens have and buy the most safety in a vehicle that their budget will afford," said Anne McCartt, IIHS Sr. VP for research.    

The institute suggests:

  • Staying away from vehicles with high horsepower.
  • Look for bigger, heavier vehicles since they offer better protection in a crash.
  • Consider a vehicle with electronic stability control, although some dealers say that can work against drivers in the winter time.
  • Look for the best safety rating possible.

Several cars on the IIHS list cost less than $10,000, based on Kelley Blue Book prices.

They include:

  • Volkswagen Jetta from model year 2009 and newer.
  • Mitsubishi Outlander from 2007 and newer.
  • Hyundai Azera from 2006 and newer.
Photo: Institute for Highway Safety

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