44438019_MWhen choosing a car for your teenage driver, what are the top priorities for you? If you’re like most parents, you’re looking for the perfect combination of safety, affordability and dependability. But often the cars that teen drivers end up with don’t follow this logic. Sometimes a teenager will be give a hand-me-down car that is pretty old and without important safety features. Compact cars are another common choice for teen drivers. These little cars generally don’t offer great protection from collisions.

Take note of these important safety points when selecting the best vehicle for your teenager.

  • Choose a car with a good safety rating. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a crash test ratings database that you can access to see how the models you are looking at stack up.
  • Look for cars that are heavy rather than light. These will stand up to impact a lot better than the compact cars and give your teen better protection.
  • Consider the fact that SUVs are higher up from the ground and more prone to rollovers. While they are typically larger and heavier, considering one for your teen would make other important safety features even more crucial.
  • Airbags are another important feature for teen drivers. There should be both front and side airbags to best protect driver and passengers from impact. This feature is especially something to think about if your teen will be driving an older car.
  • Electronic stability control increases the safety of a vehicle by helping drivers keep control under unexpected conditions. Some examples where this is a lifesaver would be slippery roads, a blown tire or an animal running out into the road.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a great resource when car shopping for your teen. There are plenty of great car options that meet most or even all of these requirements and are also affordable.