close ad

Tips for Buying Your Teen's First Car

Best Family Car Bargains
New car
Enlarge Image
Stephen Webster

Buying used isn't the only option: You could purchase a brand-new family car and pass along the old one to your teen. In fact, this strategy may actually save you money. That's because prices for some used autos have risen steeply—so much so that you'd pay only a few hundred dollars more for a new vehicle compared with a one- or two-year-old version of the same model. Factor in the higher rates for used-car loans, and a new set of wheels can be cheaper overall. Below are some 2012 vehicles that are a relative bargain.

  • Subaru Impreza
  • Toyota 4Runner
  • Toyota FJ Cruiser
  • Honda Fit
  • VW Golf
  • Kia Rio
  • Chevrolet Equinox

Source: Kelley Blue Book

Keeping Tabs on Your Teen Driver

Want to be sure your teen is being a responsible driver? Technology can help. Monitoring devices like Plug-N-Track and CarChip Pro, which typically cost between $99 and $300, gather details like time and date, distance traveled, speed, even extreme acceleration and braking; you then download the data to a computer. Mobile apps such as AccuTracking ($6 per month) and Speedbump ($10 per month) do the same once you download them on your kid's smartphone.


Originally published in the November 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine.