5 Points to Consider Before Buying a Used Car for Your Teen

driving with seatbelt on

As a parent, it can be hard to think about how swiftly time flew by over the years. But as your child grows up, you have to face the reality of giving them more freedom, especially when they’re ready to start driving. Facing this decision can be quite challenging, particularly if you consider the daunting statistics of motor vehicle crashes involving teens in the US.

Yet, as they get older, they will need a car for their studies or work. If you’re planning to shop around for used cars in New Hampshire anytime soon, here are five important points you should think about first:

1. Don’t Let Them Keep the Keys

Yes, you might gift your kid a car, but that doesn’t mean you should give them unlimited access right away. In the first few months, it might be best to still keep the car keys so that you can control how often your teen will be behind the wheel. Limit their time on the road and let them build discipline first, before anything else.

2. Set a Price Limit on Your Purchase 

It might be tempting to reward your child with their dream car, but narrowing the choice into second-hand cars for sale would be your best bet. This will provide your child with a stepping stone towards their dream car while encouraging them to develop skills first before making a splurge on an expensive vehicle.

Remind your teenager that they are more likely to expose their car to scratches and dents as they are trying to improve their driving skills. It would also be a financially wise choice to lay off their dream car for now.

3. Consider Cars with Safety Features

Though you’re likely considering used cars for sale, there’s also a limitation to how old and used you can go. Vehicle experts typically suggest limiting your picks to cars produced within the last ten years. The reasoning behind this is the recent advances in safety technology that your newbie driver will benefit from.

Some things to watch out for are crash mitigation systems, additional airbags, blind-spot monitors, and rearview cameras. More of these features can get you a better deal on auto insurance. But beyond that, getting extra safety measures for your kid can ease your worries away, too.

4. Compact Cars Are Not a Good Choice

Since teens are generally more vulnerable to vehicular accidents, experts recommend going for larger vehicles for their first car as they have an extra layer of protection during car crashes. The options that you can choose from are mid-size four-seater sedans. SUVs can be overwhelming as well, and you will want to avoid your teenager taking on too many passengers as they might be too distracted while driving.

5. Invest Time and Effort in Teaching Your Child to Drive

It is also crucial to take time in teaching your child the rules on the road, beyond what they have learned from driver’s ed. There are many important things to touch on, like driver etiquette, defensive driving, and how to drive safely during inclement weather.


Shopping for the best-used car for your teenager can be an intense journey, but if you keep the tips we’ve shared above in mind, you can make a well-informed decision. As a bonus, you can also take a peek at this recommended list of the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, featuring cars like the Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ, and Nissan Altima, for teen drivers.

If you’re ready to shop for used cars for sale in New Hampshire that are teenage-friendly, visit Lewis Motor Sales today and let us help you find the perfect vehicle!