7 Best Vehicle Options for a New Teenage Driver

When the time comes for your teenager to start driving there are a million questions. But, the biggest one your teenager wants to know is what kind of car they can get. Of course, most of them don’t have jobs. So, in my book, it is whatever car we can afford that makes the most sense for a teenage driver.

Of course, this means we won’t be purchasing anything new for any of our teenage drivers, much to their dismay. But, for us, as parents, there are more important matters at hand than just the type of car. In fact, quite a few things about which car we choose can dramatically impact our overall cost of having a teenage driver.

Yes, I am talking about car insurance! When you get a new teenage driver in the house, they have to go on your car insurance. And teenage drivers can cause your insurance to skyrocket to begin with. But, if you choose the wrong car for them it can only make your insurance costs higher. So, some of the most important factors we are keeping in mind, to keep them safe and our rates lower, are:

  • Overall safety rating of the vehicle
  • Accident avoidance
  • Dependability
  • High quality
  • Rearview camera
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Lane assist
  • Collision warning

Based on all of these factors, the following vehicle options are some of the best for new teenage drivers.

1. Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry has been well known for safety, reliability and durability for decades now. And while they weren’t as user friendly back in the 90’s (when I was a teenager), they have a lot more bells and whistles now. Plus, they offer a hybrid version if gas mileage is important to you in the long run.

Besides being highly rated in all categories, they offer a lot of the standard features to help your teenager stay safe. These include:

  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rearview camera

Ultimately, these cars can last for decades if you take care of them properly, and they are some of the most cost effective options also. If you are trying to stay under $20k, you can easily get a newer used vehicle in the 2017-2018 model years, depending upon mileage and the actual model.

2. Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius’ are known to be economical choices for anyone who owns them. The biggest perk to the Toyota Prius, besides phenomenal safety, reliability and durability is the fact that it’s a hybrid. While this might not be a driving factor for every driver out there, we have 2 hybrid vehicles and love how much money they save us on gas every single month. So, they may be worth the longer term investment for you and your teenager from that standpoint.

On top of the great reliability, safety, durability and gas mileage, they also offer quite a few additional safety features. These can include:

  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rearview camera

Ultimately, the Toyota Prius is an excellent car for anyone in your family. If you are looking to stay under $20k, then you may be hard pressed to get a 2016 model. You will have better luck with a 2014 – 2015 version instead. But, depending upon the mileage and trim package, you might just find a 2016 or 2017 in that price range also.

3. Hyundai Accent

The Hyundai Accent is highly ranked for safety and a couple of additional bells and whistles. One of their most notorious options is their Blue Link system. This system links to your phone, as a parent, and lets you know if your teenage driver is:

  • Breaking curfew
  • Exceeding speed limits
  • Leaving preset geographical boundaries

As a parent, I love this! But on top of this, their standard extra safety options usually include:

  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning
  • Rearview camera

And the price is extremely low on a newer Hyundai Accent also. If you want to stick under $20k, you can easily pick up a 2019 model. Which is fantastic news!

4. Hyundai Tuscon

The Hyundai Tuscon is a smaller SUV that is highly ranked for its reliability and safety. When it comes to SUV’s, these might be the best option for the price point also.

But, as well as being well known for reliability and safety, they also offer a few other features of interest. These can include:

  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane departure warning
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rearview camera

When it comes to price, if you want to stay under $20k, then you might be able to pick up a 2017. But, more than likely, you will be looking for anything in the 2014 – 2016 range.

5. Kia Forte

The Kia Forte has recently been ranked one of the best compact cars for the money and with good reason. The price point of these is extremely low and they are highly ranked for safety and reliability.

On top of that, most models will come with all of these extra safety features to boot:

  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rearview camera

And if staying under $20k is important to you, you just might be able to snag a 2019 for that price.

6. Chevrolet Traverse

The Chevrolet Traverse is one of the largest cars on this list because it qualifies as an SUV. So, if your teenager is wanting a bigger car to haul things around, or people, then this might be a great option. It is highly rated for its safety and performs extremely well in crash tests.

Some of the regular options included, in certain year models, include:

  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Forward collision monitoring
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rearview camera

If this sounds like a good deal for you and your new teenage driver, then I would consider looking for model years 2014 – 2016. As these years will cost you a lot less than any of the newer models, but still offer most of the safety features and will cost you less on insurance.

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7. Buick LaCrosse

The Buick LaCrosse may not be your teenage driver’s first choice, but it is well known for its safety and reliability. Since it is one of the largest cars on this list, you can rest assured your driver will be safe in an accident.

Besides being extremely safe and reliable, the Buick LaCrosse offers a lot of the extra options you want for your new driver. Some of these will differ by year, but usually include:

  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane departure warning
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rearview camera

If you are looking to spend under $20k for a car, you will probably need to look at 2016 or older. I wouldn’t suggest going below a 2014 model though, because you will start to lose a lot of the aforementioned safety features.

Best Cars for Your New Teenage Driver

Overall, there are so many things to think about when you have a new teenage driver in the house. But picking the best car for both your teenager and your wallet is an extremely important decision. Our favorite 7 options for a new teenage driver check all of the boxes, which include:

So, to recap, the best cars for your new teenage driver include:

  1. Toyota Camry
  2. Toyota Prius
  3. Hyundai Accent
  4. Hyundai Tuscon
  5. Kia Forte
  6. Chevrolet Traverse
  7. Buick LaCrosse

Once you have narrowed down which options are the most important to you, and your teenage driver, then you have to narrow down your price range. Once that is figured out, then it is time to go test driving and shopping for your teenager’s first car. Which will be fun, and very scary, all at the same time!

Which cars have you found to be the best fit for new teenage drivers?