You never forget your first car, no matter what it was.
There’s just something life-changing about getting the keys to your own vehicle, getting to slide behind the wheel of your car whenever you want and having the kind of freedom and mobility that this vehicle guarantees.
At the same time, every first car is going to go through a bit more abuse than cars you’ll have later in life, if for no other reason than this car is going to be the one that you beat up on while you are learning to drive.
The best thing you can do when searching for your first car – or searching for the first car for your children – is to zero in on a handful of key criteria that get them something safe, something reliable, and something that isn’t going to break your bank account when things (inevitably) get a little sideways as they get more driving experience under their belt.
Let’s date right in!
It should come as no surprise to anyone that safety and reliability need to be priority number one when searching for the first car for a brand-new driver.
Heavier vehicles with solid frames, vehicles that test well in collision simulations, and vehicles that include the latest and greatest safety features (like numerous airbags throughout the cabin rather than just popping out of the dashboard) should all be higher on your list than a gorgeous red flake sports car.
Thankfully though, digging up the safety ratings on almost all vehicles on the road today – from an original Ford F150 all the way up to a Honda Civic 2019 with all kinds of bells and whistles – is effortless thanks to the power of the internet.
This is where you’ll want to start your search, with the safest cars available.
What Will They Be Using The Car For Most?
Secondly, you’ll want to think about how your new driver is going to be using this vehicle most often.
Is this going to be a commuter car that gets them back and forth from school and work, something that will need fantastic gas mileage with maybe a little bit of highway travel?
Or is this car going to be something designed with rural roads in mind, something with a bed you can throw things into, and something that has four-wheel-drive (or all-wheel-drive) to tackle washout gravel roads as well as snow with no difficulty at all?
All of these key considerations are going to play huge factor in the vehicle you decide to spend your hard earned money on.
New or Used?
A lot of people end up getting a used vehicle for their first car, almost always because they have a considerably lower price tag than vehicles that just rolled off of the assembly line.
At the same time, though, used vehicles (especially those that are more than a handful of years old) do not feature the same safety technology as brand-new cars – and almost always have underlying issues that can make them a lot more expensive and less safe in a hurry.
When you get right down to it, though, it’s going to come down to a choice between the pure economics of a used car versus a new car in the trade-off between its safety and reliability. Only you’ll know how much of a compromise between the two you’re willing to make, though sometimes with great cars like a Honda Civic 2019 models that compromise isn’t all that severe.
Saving Money on Insurance
At the end of the day, every new driver – EVERY new driver – is going to be very expensive to ensure compared to drivers with years and years of blemish free driving under their belt.
On the other hand, there are definitely things you can do to save quite a bit of money on insurance by choosing the right vehicle for your first time driver.
Find something simple, something safe, something with a great track record for reliability and top-tier safety features – something not all that expensive and something relatively new (10 years old or newer, if you can) – and you’ll find your insurance prices on that new driver drop significantly.
Automobile manufacturers like Honda, Toyota, Subaru, and Hyundai all have great vehicles that are affordable, attractive, safe, and inexpensive to ensure. It’s not a bad idea to zero in on vehicles from these car companies before looking elsewhere when getting a vehicle for a brand-new driver.