What’s the Right Car for Your Teen Driver?

You and your teen may have very different views on driving.

While their dreams might be about the new-found freedom of the open road, you are focused on making sure they get home safely. While they might want to hit the accelerator, roll down the windows, and turn up the music, you want them to slow it down, stay alert, and keep their hands at 10 and 2.

We Hear You, Parents.

Whats The Right Car For Your Teen Driver

It’s not just your intuition. That sports car they are pushing for isn’t the best choice for young, inexperienced drivers. Drivers between the ages of 16-19 are the most likely to be involved in accidents.

Teenagers haven’t yet developed the maturity they need to make good decisions about the risks of steering 1.5 tons of metal down a road filled with other moving hunks of metal.

Young drivers just don’t have the experience to react appropriately to dangerous situations. Even experienced drivers find themselves hard-pressed to make good decisions in challenging driving situations. The fact is that everything happens way too fast and this only increases when you are a brand-new driver.

Can We Help You Decide?

What kind of car do we advise parents to get their teen drivers? Instead of price or appearance, we want you to first think of reliability and safety first. Airbags, stability control, and excellent tires are a good start. It’s also a fact that large to mid-size cars are safer than small cars. Of the 16 models with the highest crash rates, 11 are compacts or sub-compacts.

You might assume that a smaller car is easier to handle and your teen might like the sportier look. Unfortunately, they make your teen less safe on the road.

Our suggestion? Get them the safest, most reliable car you can afford.

Other factors include getting a vehicle that has too much or not enough horsepower. Speed is, of course, dangerous but a lack of power can make merging and lane changes hazardous. Also, make sure you inform your teen about how expensive California traffic tickets are. Rolling through a stop sign will get you a relatively inexpensive ticket. But, by the time you pay all the agencies involved, it might cost several years of allowance!

Narrow your choices down by checking out the crash test scores on Safercar.gov. Also, if you’re buying a used car, bring it in and we’ll carefully inspect it. We provide expert insight into whether a particular vehicle is safe and reliable. You need it to be a great car for your teen and, just as importantly, your peace of mind!

Yes, we are AAA-approved and ASE-certified and consistently rated as one of the top shops in that nation. But when you want to keep your teen driver safe, you need hometown service you can count on. That’s why you need to call the pros at Certified Automotive Specialists at 626-541-2149 or schedule your appointment today!


I have teenage children and my shop is very close to Citrus College so keeping teens safe on the road is a subject dear to my heart. I’m often asked what parents should look for in a car for their teen driver.  Of course, a lot of teens dream of a fancy sports car but that certainly isn’t the safe choice for young, inexperienced drivers.  Teen drivers, between the ages of 16 to 19 are far more likely to have a crash than any other group.  They tend to underestimate dangerous situations and they don’t always react to them appropriately.  It is hard for a mature, experienced driver to always make the right snap judgment when behind the wheel to avoid an accident.  Everything happens way to fast.  When you are brand new at driving it gets worse.


I always advise that before you pick a car based on price or looks think reliable and safety first, then choose the safest car you can afford to buy.  Air bags, stability control and excellent tires are a good start.  Large to mid-size cars are safer than small cars because they are heavier.  16 models with the highest crash rates included 11 small cars.  I know it is natural to assume that a smaller car is easier to handle and many times the teens like them because they appear sportier, however they are not the safest choice.


You also don’t want to buy a car that has a lot of horsepower or one that has too little.  Too much speed and power are of course, dangerous but lack of power can be equally dangerous as they are too slow during lane changes. You might also share with your teen that California traffic tickets are mighty expensive these days.  For example, just rolling through a stop sign will get you a relatively inexpensive ticket but by the time you pay all the agencies involved it can cost you plenty!


When you narrow down your choice of vehicle, check out the crash test scores on Safercar.gov. If you are buying a used car, please have it inspected carefully by us or your car care provider and let them know it is for a teen driver as they may be able to give you more insight into the safety of the vehicle.


Self-driving cars are soon to be a reality and then all we have to worry about it is when the car’s computer crashes!