The first car is the ultimate form of freedom for a teenager, but that’s less the case when they pick the wrong one. What is the best first car for a teenager?
The answer to this question can vary pretty wildly. You can let a teen get whatever they want, especially if they’re paying for it. You could also push them into something safe, not too fast and with modern safety features. Or you could get them something old and rough, knowing it’ll get further banged up by your student driver.
My first car was a 2001 Kia Rio sedan. It ran and drove and had a purchase price of $1,000. My parents went with me as I purchased the car at nighttime in the dead of winter. A lot of other teens at my high school had cars just like this. They got whatever was cheap and could still move under its own power. That Kia was a pile of junk, but I’d by lying if I said I don’t miss it.
I’d say the best car depends on the teen. If they want something fun, it’s hard to beat a Mazda Miata if you can still find one on the cheap. They’re fun to drive but they’re also slow enough to keep your kid out of trouble, probably. Plus, just two seats mean minimal distractions from backseat drivers.
If they need something safe and cheap, you can’t go wrong with a Volvo. Over the years, the company has consistently been ahead of the game as far as occupant safety. Plus, even older Volvos still have a modern look. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recommends something like a 2007 S40 for a teenager. We recommend getting them some extra training that goes beyond the bare minimum your state requires.
What is the best car for a teenager?