An Absolute: Pre-Owned Cars for Teens

There are a few absolutes in the world today, and you know some of them: death, taxes, your air conditioning goes out on the first hot day of the year. Those things are guaranteed. There is one more absolute if you have children: they grow up and learn to drive a car. Some become good drivers, some not so good, but the absolute is they are going to have an accident. Either they run into something or someone or someone does the same to them. More than likely it is going to be something minor, but it will happen.
So, the question for parents is, how do you not buy a pre-owned car?
It is common knowledge that new cars lose up to 30% of their value when they are driven off of the lot. Add to that a 16 or 17 year-old careening around the neighborhood and that new car you bought is now a liability.
The best route for a parent is a quality, pre-owned car. Parents have to take into account a number of factors when purchasing a pre-owned vehicle.
New drivers should stay away from high horsepower. Horsepower in the hands of a teen is just too tempting. At the same time, bigger and heavier is better. Stay away from mini and small cars-although small SUV’s are a good buy since they have the weight of a mid-size.
After purchasing the vehicle, the next hurdle parents and teens have to face is the insurance. The term “sticker-shock” fits here nicely. Given the number of accidents teens have, you can understand why the insurance premiums are so high. Of course you know that insuring an $11,000 pre-owned car is going to be less than a new $25,000 car. Some car salesmen will make the point that newer cars have better safety features and anti-theft devices, but it will still cost more to insure the new car.
Some pre-owned cars hold their value more than others, and a first impression goes a long way. More than likely your teen’s car will have a place in the driveway. There, it is subject to rain, snow, dust, and the sun’s UV rays. It wouldn’t be prudent to subject a new car to those factors. Drive by any college or high school campus and take note of the new cars in the parking lots, totally unprotected and losing value by the minute. A pre-owned car for your teen is subject to the same, but it is losing much less value.
Keep that one absolute in mind when considering a car for your new driver. Buy quality pre-owned and save yourself some money.