Author Topic: Car for New Driver  (Read 857 times)

Jenny1974

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Car for New Driver
« on: May 04, 2018, 07:58:38 AM »
First of all, we are not in a walkable location so that's not an option.

With that off the table, I need to start thinking about the best (and safest) care options for a new driver.  DD turns 16 and September.  She took driver's education and recently got her permit.   When she turns 16, she will need a vehicle primarily for getting to and from school and activities.  The bus is not always an option as a lot of her activities keep her after school. 

I want to put her in something with some decent safety features while not going overboard.  I'd like her to have a backup camera and blind spot detectors and a good airbag package.  She will be responsible for fuel costs and whatever else she can afford based on the number of hours she is able to work.  A lot of her activities limit her work availability so, at this point, we are not expecting her to make enough money to pay insurance.

Any recommendations for vehicles we should consider??

FireHiker

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Re: Car for New Driver
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2018, 11:48:54 AM »
My oldest started driving late 2016, and we purchased a 2015 Nissan Sentra. We went through the Hertz used car sales, so it was a nice car in wonderful shape with higher-than-usual miles since it had been a rental. It does not have a backup camera but I think you can get those installed aftermarket. Our total with tax, license, etc was 11k; a little on the higher side, but between his grandparents and his dad and stepmom contributing we were only out 5k for our part. He is very happy with it even though we are in a very affluent area where brand new BMWs at 16 is not uncommon. Since he is active in sports and has 3 AP classes this year we have not had him work just yet; he barely sleeps as it is. Insurance is outrageous though; ours more than doubled. We did find Geico to be the best deal for us.

If I were you I would look at dependable used cars: Nissan, Toyota, Honda. Some have backup cameras, some don't; I know my in-laws added one to their Acura aftermarket without too much trouble or expense though. I think everything reasonably new-ish should have good airbags these days, although check for any recent recalls.

Good luck!

TheWifeHalf

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Re: Car for New Driver
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2018, 01:33:57 PM »
All of our kids started driving a Ford Ranger - small pickup with no back seat.
When the kids got their licenses, our insurance agent had an hour long talk with each one. The main thing they got out of it was that DISTRACTIONS cause the most accidents in teens.

The way we looked at it, no back seat means no back seat passengers, means less distractions.

Sibley

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Re: Car for New Driver
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2018, 01:46:16 PM »
Something cheap, because it'll probably get totaled.

Institute some rules, ie: no phones, no friends, must wear seatbelts. Whatever curfew makes sense. Has to inform (ask permission) if she's going anywhere other than school or regularly scheduled activities. No one else drives the car without prior permission. Required to run errands for you too.

Involve her in maintenance - tire pressure, fluids, wiper blades, oil changes, etc. Set her up for success in the future.

ketchup

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Re: Car for New Driver
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2018, 01:47:50 PM »
It looks like the Toyota Camry had a backup camera available starting in 2009.  You should be able to find one for a few grand.  Blind spot detectors are harder to find info for online, but I don't think you want your teen blindly trusting such a system anyway.  They might be handy after you're experienced, but I know that while learning they would have been a negative for me.

The main safety feature I'd be concerned with if you're going with a car that new is ESC (optional until 2012).  That's actually well-documented to save lives.

Personally though, I'd go with an old $1000 car she buys and maintains herself.  I didn't know shit about cars but buying a $1000 car at 20 made me learn pretty quickly.  And yes, I did total it just over a year later by doing something stupid.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Car for New Driver
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2018, 02:00:12 PM »
It only costs like $125 to get a backup camera after market, and they're easy to put in. So don't let that be the deciding factor.

+1 on distractions being the cause of accidents. My parents were very strict- no passengers other than siblings the first 6 months of driving. No touching the music AT ALL while driving. No driving after a certain time of night. They made it clear it was not our car, but rather, their car they were letting us borrow. (They paid insurance and gas for us). They also made clear that, as the price for this, it was our job to help them where needed- picking up siblings or running whatever errands they requested of us.

None of us have ever had an at-fault crash or any sort of ticket, parking or speeding.

jeninco

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Re: Car for New Driver
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2018, 02:29:51 PM »
It only costs like $125 to get a backup camera after market, and they're easy to put in. So don't let that be the deciding factor.

+1 on distractions being the cause of accidents. My parents were very strict- no passengers other than siblings the first 6 months of driving. No touching the music AT ALL while driving. No driving after a certain time of night. They made it clear it was not our car, but rather, their car they were letting us borrow. (They paid insurance and gas for us). They also made clear that, as the price for this, it was our job to help them where needed- picking up siblings or running whatever errands they requested of us.

None of us have ever had an at-fault crash or any sort of ticket, parking or speeding.

All this. Our 17-year old pays for half his insurance cost (his part is around $40/month, and he has to keep his "good student" discount) and his gas (though to be fair, most of his driving is discretionary - -he can get to the places he needs to go on a bike if he chooses.) It is MY car, and he is allowed to drive it (and sometimes I'll buy him a tank of gas when he does multiple or long distance errands for me), and it's a 1995, so pretty much a tank with decent handling. (It's the car we replaced: we'll hold onto it until it develops an expensive problem.) The car has a midnight curfew, so if he wants to be out after that, one of his (teetotaling friends) has to drive, or he walks or Ubers.  He pays his own parking tickets, which means he only got one before he started looking very carefully at what those funny signs along the sides of streets actually say.

Our state has a graduated license, so no unrelated teens in the car until you've been driving 6 months or a year. And during his learners permit year he spent many, many hours driving one parent or the other and getting attentive 1-on-1 instruction from people who knew him well and are highly motivated to have him survive to adulthood.

Qualifiers:
1. No need to drive from our house, it's walkable/bikeable to school, practices, most other stuff.
2. Fairly responsible kid.
3. He has a job, although he works few hours during his sports season. It's amazing how quickly he can translate "hours making pizza" to "gallons of gas".

ontheway2

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Re: Car for New Driver
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2018, 01:57:28 PM »
My oldest is only 12, but I started thinking about this a few years ago. I currently drive a 14 Sentra that I plan on giving him when he turns 16, and my replacement will go to my now 6 year old. Pretty much any relatively newer smaller car gets good gas mileage and will last with care. The latest safety features are not really needed either. Kids will depend on them and not use their eyes when driving.

Laura33

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Re: Car for New Driver
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2018, 02:17:45 PM »
My requirement:  gently-used car with automatic crash avoidance.  My DD has ADHD, and so a distraciton-based accident was a high probability, despite our best training/lecturing/oversight.  So the sudden availability of these sorts of things on reasonably-priced cars basically caused me to do a 180 from my prior plan to just hand down my own 9+-yr-old sedan.  From my research, I found that the Subaru Impreza, Mazda 3, and Toyota Corolla all had these systems available since about 2015-2016.  We got a recent-model used Impreza with unusually high mileage for a sort-of ridiculous discount from the original list price.

YMMV.  I know it's not the most mustachian option, and I was ok with that. 

LiveLean

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Re: Car for New Driver
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2018, 02:47:46 PM »
We're going through this same process with our oldest turning 16 in December. He's a competitive swimmer -- nine practices a week - plus he does not go to the closest public school. Insurance will be outrageous but given my time savings, I will come out ahead.

I asked my mechanic what car I should get. He says in his 30 years working on cars the car he never sees for anything but routine maintenance is a Toyota Corolla, which coincidentally is rated one of the best for new drivers -- and relatively less painful for insurance purposes. I plan to find one with some miles/months left on the warranty and take it to the mechanic for a once-over before I buy.