If you were to ask your teenager what car they want to drive, you would might get an answer that involves a sports car – something fast and flashy – or an off-road vehicle.  Plus, they’ll want a great sound system!  It is the kind of answer that might make a parent cringe.  Interestingly, a research firm that specializes in youth marketing, TRU,  surveyed 2,000 teens and found they tended to pick small sedans and coupes.  They wanted good gas mileage, room for friends, and nice styling.

So, it is time to buy that car.  What should you, as the parent, look for in getting an affordable, dependable, and safe vehicle that your kids won’t hate?

Safety First

Safety should be your number one priority.  Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for 14-18-year olds, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  They report that nearly half of all teens involved in a car crash die.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety points out some things that parents should know in picking a car for younger drivers.

  • The bigger and heavier a vehicle is, the safer it is likely to be to the occupants.
  • A big, high-powered engine seems great, but it is unnecessary.  A standard engine will do the job and it will cut down that temptation to stomp on the gas pedal and accelerate past other vehicles.
  • Vehicles with electronic stability control will really help on curves and wet roads.  Newer tech features, such as forward-collision warning, automatic and anti-lock brakes, lane departure sensors, can help.  A rearview camera can prevent backing into trouble.
  • Newer models tend to have more safety features and typically score better on crash tests.  You can check on safety ratings on the National Highway Traffic Safety Association website.  They make public results of crash tests.


You also want to make sure your teen won’t get stranded somewhere.  You may have years of driving and trouble-shooting experience, but they are new to this. 

A certified pre-owned Toyota Baltimore is a good option.  Certified Pre-Owned vehicles have gone through a rigid 160-point inspection that meets manufacturer standards.

Certified Pre-Owned vehicles also have a maximum on mileage and age.  For Toyota, the car can’t be any older than six years and have no more than 85,000 miles.  It will come with a warranty, roadside assistance, and a guarantee that warranty work will be honored at any of Toyota’s 1400 nationwide dealers.

For your teen, consider a certified pre-owned Toyota Baltimore and know that you will get a safe and dependable vehicle.