However, our compensation is never tied to whether you purchase an insurance product. For more information, please see our NextAdvisor is not a accredited policy company, agency or agent and we do not sell, solicit or negotiate insurance. Our message provides summaries of indemnity providers and/or products that may not include all terms, benefits or limitations of such provider or product. Please consult a license insurance company or manufacturer regarding any policy merchandise. Our web site may include links that take you to another web site and result in us earning a fee.For more data, please see our Advertising Disclosure and How We Make Money. There are two boastfully things to know about adolescent drivers : they cost much more to insure and they are far more likely to be involved in a unplayful car crash than older drivers. While there international relations and security network ’ thyroxine much you can do about the high cost of insuring a adolescent driver, you do have some command over the guard of the car you put them in. We talked to experts about what to look for in a car, and learned you don ’ t need the latest, greatest ( and most expensive ) automotive engineering to maximize the safety of your adolescent driver .

Car Size

One thing parents might not realize is the importance of vehicle size, multiple experts told us. adolescent drivers are safer in cars that are neither excessively small ( more dangerous in crashes ) nor besides boastfully ( more unmanageable to maneuver, plus longer brake time ).

“ We recommend that parents stay aside from micro or mini cars because bigger cars do offer more protection for occupants when they ’ re involved in a crash, ” says Jessica Cicchino, frailty president of inquiry for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ( IIHS ) .

Engine Size

Engine size is another authoritative divisor to keep in mind : cars with 4-cylinder engines are by and large safer for adolescent drivers than vehicles with larger engines that are adequate to of higher speeds. “ adenine much as you may think it would be fun to get your kid a high-performance car, stay away from the sports cars with the high horsepower, ” says Pam Shadel Fischer, a aged director with the Governors Highway Safety Association ( GHSA ) .

Age of Car

Since many teens are driving hand-me-down or other secondhand vehicles, old age is another significant guard agent to keep in mind. In general, newer cars — and the newer features that come with them — are safer. But enough of use cars can be condom for adolescent drivers. The experts we talked to recommend cars between 3 and 5 years old, though any car made after 2012 — when electronic stability control became standard — offers samara modern safety features. We made a short number of the best vehicles we recommend for adolescent drivers, based on our conversations with insurance and safety experts, equally well as research on leading diligence safety ratings. The cars we recommend systematically earn top safety ratings and have not had any major reported safety issues. They besides come with standard and optional upgrade condom features and technology, like ahead collision warn, lane departure admonition, and even smart braking systems that can help avoid collisions .

The Best Cars for Teen Drivers

Honda Civic

Honda is known for making reliable vehicles that run well for a long time. Belonging to the compact or subcompact class, the Honda Civic is the smallest car on this tilt, but its strong and coherent safety ratings over the years offer a body of evidence to support its inclusion body. Most Honda Civic models besides get well over 30 miles per gallon, making this a good cable car for fuel economy deoxyadenosine monophosphate well. MSRP : $ 21,250

Hyundai Sonata

The Hyundai Sonata is a mid-size sedan. Hyundai is besides known for having some of the best drawn-out guarantee coverage you can get, with certain systems covered for up to 10 years or 100,000 miles — many other automakers cut guarantee coverage at ampere little as 3 years or 36,000 miles. MSRP : $ 23,950

Kia Optima

The Kia Optima got a wax redesign and rebrand for 2021, and will be known as the Kia K5 going ahead. But the mid-sized Optima is a solid choice for condom, and along with the Sonata is on the lower goal of the price scale among the cars on our list. This car has a bang-up guarantee deoxyadenosine monophosphate well, with some coverage lasting up to 10 years and 100,000 miles. MSRP : $ 23,390


The Mazda6 is a larger mid-sized sedan than most of the other cars on our tilt. Mazda has built a reputation over the years for construction low-cost, authentic cars that besides come with a moment of intangible “ fun ” agent. This approach has earned the Mazda6 positive reviews from leading automotive outlets like Car and Driver and MotorTrend. Overall, the Mazda6 has systematically earned clear safety ratings over the years. MSRP : $ 24,475

Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester is the only SUV on our list, and besides the entirely one to be named a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS every year since 2012. Subaru is besides known for vehicles that hold their value better than other cars. Kelley Blue Book and Car and Driver have both recently named Subaru a top brand for holding resale respect. Along with a top base hit record, this lastingness makes Subaru a solid choice for a adolescent driver. MSRP : $ 24,795

How We Determined the Best Cars for Teen Drivers

We researched dozens of vehicles that are normally recommended for adolescent drivers. The cars on this list are some of the best options for parents of adolescent drivers. But you can hush find a safe vehicle even if it ’ s not on this list. We limit our recommendations to 4-cylinder engine vehicles that range in size from compact to small SUV, since experts agree these make for the safest vehicles for adolescent drivers. We besides consider diligence standard safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( NHTSA ) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ( IIHS ). All our commend cars have potent condom records over the years, but we do not recommend models manufactured before 2012, when electronic stability control became a standard base hit feature.

While different models evolve over the years on exact ratings and features, we primarily use basis 2017 models to compare these cars using a standard benchmark. Our list excludes cars whose 2017 Kelley Blue Book rate exceeds $ 16,000. Value can vary greatly based on mileage, class, and trimming tied, but this benchmark prevents more expensive makes and models from appearing on our list. One early note to keep in take care : While all of these vehicles come with criterion 4-cylinder engines, some do come with turbocharged options. Avoid these models for a adolescent driver if you can, as the greater travel rapidly that comes with a turbo locomotive means greater risk for your adolescent driver. If you ’ re considering a vehicle for a adolescent driver that ’ s not on this list, you can use these resources a well to help determine what ’ second best for you :


For parents who may be looking to buy a newly or use car for a adolescent driver, we want the cars on our list to be accessible to as many people as possible, so we favor those generally on the lower end of the cost spectrum. We looked at the value of vehicles using Kelley Blue Book, which has been an mugwump agency on car value for decades. If you ’ re in the market for a modern or secondhand cable car, or even if you want to assess the value of a car you already own, you can enter fomite details on to get an independent theme of the prize of a given fomite .

Safety Ratings

The NHTSA scores cars on a 5-star rate scale, with 5 being the best rat a car can receive. The safest cars will earn this agency ’ s top 5-star rate, and won ’ t have any specific safety concerns ( which the NHTSA will list if one exists ). The cars on our list systematically receive the peak 5-star military rank. You can besides see specific scores for frontlet, side, and rollover crashes, angstrom good as download technical foul reports. The IIHS ratings fuck vehicle safety based on two key elements : how well a vehicle protects its driver and passengers in a barge in and what technology a vehicle has to help avoid or mitigate a crash. The IIHS rates vehicles across a number of categories on a scale of poor to dependable, with dear being the best. We like vehicles that regularly earn the top overall evaluation of good. The IIHS besides awards certain vehicles with a branded Top Safety Pick appellation, which the cars on our list systematically earn .

Why Are Teen Drivers at Greater Risk, and What Can You Do About It?

adolescent drivers and passengers made up a greater percentage of speeding-related deaths than all other long time groups between 2015 and 2019, a recent Governors Highway Safety Association report found. even while the COVID-19 pandemic has kept many more people at home than usual, clearer roads and highways have presented new risks. Fewer cars and dealings have led to more travel rapidly and relate drive fomite deaths, the report card says. More than anything, the risks faced by adolescent drivers are immediately related to their inexperience. “ They ’ re placid learning ; it takes a while to gain that experience, ” Shadel Fischer says. therefore adolescent drivers present a challenge riddle : “ Teenagers are among the riskiest drivers but they often end up driving cheap vehicles that don ’ t offer adequate protective covering in a crash, ” Cicchino says. Putting your adolescent driver in a dependable car may be the first thing you can do to diminish the greater risk they ’ ll font on the road, but it ’ s not the only thing. start with the driving safety basics, and talk to your adolescent drivers about the importance of wearing seat belts, not drinking or doing drugs before or while driving, minimizing distractions, and observing the speed limit. New and emerging technologies offer tools for ensuring guard. particularly if you are in a stage where you are buying a new cable car for yourself that may one day be passed on to a adolescent driver, some of the fresh technologies that experts are excited about admit GPS and speed track, either through a cable car ’ s computer or an app on your adolescent ’ south phone, and early fresh features like automatic emergency brake, lane-keeping serve, adaptive cruise control, and accelerate limit recognition. At the end of the day, do what works for you and your adolescent driver. “ Buy the safest car you can afford, ” Shadel Fischer says. “ Because you ’ rhenium putting your highest hazard driver in that fomite. ”

Insuring Teen Drivers Is Expensive — Here’s What You Can Do to Keep Costs Down

The like miss of driving know that puts adolescent drivers at greater gamble of being in a unplayful crash is besides why they cost therefore much more to insure than more experience drivers. “ It ’ s truly just the enhanced gamble of them not knowing how to drive equally well as person who ’ south experienced, ” says John Deichl, executive frailty president of Guaranteed Rate Insurance. Time behind the wheel is truly the merely thing that can change the know side of the equation, but there are still ways you can make certain you ’ re not paying more than you must to insure a adolescent driver. many of the best car indemnity companies offer discounts that can help keep costs down, Deichl says. These can include discounts for insuring your home and car with the same caller, good scholar discounts, military discounts, electronic automatic charge, and paying your full premium in advance rather than calendar month to month. Another way you might be able to save on car policy with a adolescent driver is with telemetrics programs that are increasingly offered by major indemnity companies, Deichl says. These involve on-board ( or in some cases via mobile earphone app ) technology that monitors driving behavior and offers discounts for safe repel. The primary things these programs look at are whether a driver is braking excessively hard and average accelerate, Deichl says. Telemetrics programs besides provide an opportunity for parents to review and talk about driving behavior with their teens. “ It creates a behavior that ’ s probably more beneficial for them, not only for the car indemnity but besides for their guard, ” Deichl says. Vehicle features like anti-theft systems, antilock brakes, and day running lights can besides keep policy costs down, Deichl says. besides, a smaller engine doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate merely make for a safe car : the larger the engine, the more expensive a fomite will be to insure, Deichl says .

Bottom Line

adolescent drivers cost more to insure than experienced drivers and confront far greater risk of being involved in a serious accident. There ’ sulfur lone therefore much you can do on the indemnity front, but you have much more control over the safety of the vehicle you put your adolescent driver in. Cars that were manufactured over the last 3-5 years — but not before 2012 — fall a good balance of guard and affordability. Experts advise to avoid cars that are either excessively small or excessively large, and to be mindful of new and emerging technologies that can enhance the safety of a adolescent driver.

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