Social media is flooded with first day of school pictures and the airwaves are equally saturated with commercials touting sales for all of the goods those kids will need to after the pics have been taken.
For the older ones, shopping may include more than clothes, notebooks, etc. Parents may be shopping for the vehicles those students will be traveling to school in on a daily basis.
There are no simple answers as to what is best for a young driver: new or old vehicle. However, there aren’t very many convenient lists of “Best old cars” for student drivers, but fortunately U.S. News and World Report have assembled a list of the best new or nearly new vehicles for those kids.
However, there are some general rules to follow when looking for a vehicle for a new driver and one overriding one to follow.
“The way that we think about it is, if the teen is excited about the car, it’s probably the wrong car,” said Jamie Page Deaton, executive editor of U.S. News and World Report.
Here’s the list of vehicles, by price, recommended by the magazine:
- Hyundai Accent,Under $20,000
- Volkswagen Jetta, $20,000 to $25,000
- Honda HR-V SUV, $20,000 to $25,000
- Kia Forte,$25,000 to $30,000
- Kia Soul SUV, $25,000 to $30,000
- Toyota Camry, $30,000 to $35,000
- Hyundai Santa Fe SUV,$30,000 to $35,000
- Toyota Camry Hybrid,$30,000 to $35,000
- Toyota RAV4,$35,000 to $40,000
Newer vehicles have several advantages over older models, the best of them being a slew of safety technology such as anti-lock brakes, forward collision alert, lane keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic braking.
Plus, technology in some vehicles allows parents to set speed and audio volume restrictions when their teen is behind the wheel, while other systems can send parents updates on their teen’s driving behavior.
Here are the magazine’s choices by category:
- 2016 Buick LaCrosse, Large Cars category
- 2016 Toyota Camry/Camry Hybrid,Midsize Cars category
- 2015 Chevy Traverse,Midsize SUV category
- 2016 Toyota Prius,Small Cars category
- 2016 Hyundai Tucson,Small SUVs category
Additionally, many newer vehicles enjoy features that mitigate some of the poor driving habits teens are often famous for engaging in, such as texting or talking on their smart phones.
Distracted driving is a leading culprit in accidents involving teen drivers. According to a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, distracted driving accounted for 57% of crashes involving a teen driver.
Unsurprisingly, a recent study by Liberty Mutual found that 90% of teen drivers admit to talking on the phone while driving, while 78% say they’ve sent a text from behind the wheel. Furthermore, 33% of teens were found to have been driving while drowsy.