Buying A Car For Your Teen

Car Store Houston- keeping your teen safeThe summer can be an exciting time, especially if your teen is old enough to drive. What does this mean?  Houston, here they go! First of all, that they are looking to gain some independence, they are looking to embark using this new found freedom and are interested in putting into practice what they have learned through their drivers ed courses and the trip to the local DMV. This can be a great thing for them – independence,  but if you are lending them your car, that means that your independence is taken away from you, because now you are stuck at home.  This will not do.  Now, we embark on finding a suitable car for our teen.

Depending on your budget, there is something for everyone when it comes to purchasing a car for your teenager.  What do we know about teens?  They can be reckless, they can be immature and they can at times make poor choices.  All of this comes into contention when deciding what used car to purchase your teen.

Surveys come out all the time that give irrefutable proof that most accidents that involve teenagers prove that the vehicles that they are in are not safe enough.  What does that as parents tell us? That not all used cars are the same, here is what we suggest you look for when purchasing one to keep your teen safe.

As you can imagine when you ask the typical teenager what it is that they are looking for in a car, their answer is usually pretty consistent.  Something fast and cool.  Well, that is fine and dandy, but as parents we want our children to be safe as they drive though these Houston streets.  According to AAA’s studies on used vehicle safety, there are certain characteristics to look for.

1. The larger the vehicle the safer the passengers.  With a larger vehicle, lets say an SUV, crossover or larger sedan you have the added advantage of additional cubic inches.  The though is, the more distance between your child and another vehicle the better.  Also, the larger the vehicle that usually means that it will be slower, because of its sheer weight lets say in comparison to a small two seater sports car.

2. Electronic Stability Control is one of those features that you will find with some newer models.  ESC or DSC (dynamic stability control) is done via computer.  This is measured by the cars onboard computer detecting and reducing loss of traction. When steering control is lost, it automatically applies the brakes to assist in steering the vehicle to where it needs to go. These brakes are applied individually to correct under-steer and over-steer issues when they arise.  These systems were introduced to the market in 1987 by Mercedes and BMW.  Therefore it is unlikely to find a vehicle before this that would have that technology.

3. Reliability is a common concern, it is best to have your mechanic take a look at any vehicle that you are interested in purchasing from the dealership.  The though of your teenage daughter getting stranded on the side of the road, or on a highway is enough to cause most of us to enter into a small state of panic.  Do your research, with technology being what it is today, there are plenty of ways to find what cars are more reliable than others.

4. Safety Ratings, there are several companies that rate the different safety features of cars new and old alike.:
1. www.kbb.com ( Kelley Blue Book )
2. www.edmunds.com
3. www.nhtsa.gov (National Highway Traffic Safety)
4. www.motortrend.com
5. www.iihs.org (insurance institute for Highway Safety)
6. www.consumer reports

5. Airbags, are devices to keep the passengers in a vehicle safe. These are safely tucked away out of sight, out of mind.  Until of course there is a colission and then these little flexible bags inflate rapidly, protecting and cushioning the occupants from banging agains the steering wheel or the metal frame of their car.  Airbags were first introduced in the late 1970’s but today most cars have over 4 airbags provided for your safety.

6. Price, when it comes to purchasing a second or third car for your family to give your teen some well needed responsibility, price may or may not be a factor for you to consider.  You may have all the money in the world but may still want a good deal at the end of the day.  Come on over to our lot at Car Store Houston and we will help you select the perfect choice for you teenager.

That is about it.  Some food for thought when it comes to keeping your teen safe all the while doing what is not only in their best interest, but the best interest of everyone who will be sharing the road with them as well.  Driving is a privilege, not a right, remind them of this.