The Car Geek: A Car for My Teenager

The Car Geek

Monday, January 02, 2006

A Car for My Teenager

I remember when I was almost screaming to find out that after months of hinting and asking my parents, my very first car was waiting for me in the garage. My very own. That time, it meant freedom to me. It was mine, all mine.

What goes around comes around, though. Now, it is my turn. My son has been pestering me for weeks now for a car of his own. Yet, I’m thinking that he still cannot have one. He’s too young. I know, I know. I do sound like an old daddy. But I know that I was his age when I received my first, so maybe I’ll just do the same.

Safety has been my primary concern. Even if I have been able to raise my child right, I know that he can handle driving well. However, accidents do happen. And one recent Autobytel survey said that drinking and driving is the number one killer of young people. The best kind of car could be one with a good anti-lock braking system, and has disc brakes that are large and high quality. For under $20,000, I’ve been considering VW Jetta, VW GTI, Ford Focus SVT, Mini Cooper, Honda Accord, Honda CR-V, and Hyundai Tiburon. For under $15,000, I’m considering the Nissan Sentra, Chevrolet S-10, Chevrolet Cavalier, and Toyota Corolla. These are based on their standard safety equipment like air bags, ABS, and daytime running lights.

An article in the Internet provided information that a car for a teenager should be able to grow with them and their changing lifestyles. Large SUVs are out for it could become a cruncher when it comes to gas mileage. The car should be something that a teenager could use from driving to the beach, to moving stuff to dorm rooms come college time. For under $20,000, these cars could be the one: VW Jetta, Honda Accord, Honda CR-V, PT Cruiser, Hyundai Santa Fe, Pontiac Vibe, and VW Beetle. For under $15,000, the list includes: Kia Sportage, Toyota Matrix, Ford Focus, and Honda Civic. These are based on body style and functional interior design.

When it comes to style, it is probably best to leave it to them. After all, they are the ones who are going to use them. And yes, manufacturers have kept in mind that style and safety could come together in one vehicle. Under $20,000 considerations include Acura RSX, Dodge Stratus, VW Beetle, Ford Focus SVT, Mazda Protege5, Mini Cooper, and Hyundai Tiburon. And for those under $15,000, they are Nissan Sentra, Mitsubishi Lancer, Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla, and Toyota Matrix.

For sure, these teenagers like to go fast, mine included. A list of compromises I have found on the Net could help you and me out when dealing with our teenage drivers.

* One speeding ticket, and it’s over. Especially in a school zone. * Distractions should be limited, thus no DVD in the car, much more an aftermarket stereo system. * They should change the oil and flush the radiator, and be up-to-date on any scheduled maintenance. * The insurance premium should be paid by them. * No driving with friends at night until they are 18. * And no parties. Many accidents take place during these happenings.

If, for any chance, they need to change or replace any part of their chosen first vehicle, online stores like Auto Parts Inner provide just what they might need. They are made from quality material and are proven to be budget friendly.