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Updated by TorontoRidesOTP on Sep 11, 2017
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4 Car-buying tips for the young driver in your household

Skip the beater, and take a pass on the coupe. If you want to keep your young driver safe, follow these guidelines.

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They grow up so fast...

They grow up so fast...

You didn’t think it was going to happen to you this quickly. High school is over, your teenager is speeding recklessly towards the twenties, and public transit isn’t going to cut it for campus life. Especially if they’re juggling work duties with school, and have to drive long distances to come home because they’ve moved away. But here you are anyway.

Most parents gravitate towards saving money and opting for the “beater” car, but keep in mind the responsibility you’re saddling your child with: not only owning and maintaining a vehicle, but operating it safely on roads filled with other drivers. On the other hand, you might not want to spend too much, since drivers aged 16-25 are far more likely to be involved in an accident than other age groups.

These tips will help you keep your young driver safe on the road, without breaking the bank.

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Stick to late-model vehicles

Stick to late-model vehicles

The more recently the car was built, the more safety and convenience features will be available. You might think “If I had to drive a Volkswagen Rabbit in college, they’ll manage without all the bells and whistles,” but keep in mind that vehicles are not only becoming safer every year, having convenience features like Bluetooth audio and speech-to-text can help reduce the temptation to talk and text while driving. And just in case you think your child would never, a recent study found that nearly 9 in 10 people with smartphones use them while driving. Heck, you might be on that list yourself.

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Check the safety features

Check the safety features

It’s always a good idea to look up the safety features on a pre-owned vehicle before you visit the dealership. Aside from crucial items like front and passenger airbags, side airbags, and anti-lock brakes, look out for features like:

  • Lane departure assist (alerts the driver if they’re drifting out of their lane),
  • Blind spot monitoring (a beacon in the side mirrors which indicates that another vehicle is travelling in the blind spot)
  • Backup cameras (a huge assist with parking and can help avoid costly fender-benders).
  • Electronic stability control (as important to have in a vehicle as safety belts. Electronic stability control helps maintain traction on curves and slippery roads).
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Opt for the midsize sedan

Opt for the midsize sedan

According to AAA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, midsize sedans like the Toyota Camry are the safest bet for young drivers. Small vehicles can’t offer as much protection in a high-speed accident, and SUVs/pickup trucks can be harder for new drivers to maneuver. Additionally, there’s the danger of rollover accidents. The safety features and crash ratings of midsize sedands, on the other hand, make them an ideal choice for young drivers to learn the rules of the road firsthand.

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Check the damage records

Check the damage records

All reputable dealers should give you web access to the vehicle’s CarProof report, which not only lists any accidents the vehicle has been in, but keeps you up to date on the vehicle’s service records. The last thing you want is to spend money on a car that’s only had the oil changed once the inside of the engine has turned to tar. Of course, our website has CarProof reports for all of our pre-owned models, so feel free to check them out.

If you need more information, or help choosing the right vehicle for the young driver in your household, be sure to drop us an e-mail, or call (416) 391-7632 to book an appointment today. We’ll help you narrow down your choices, stick to your budget, and find you the safest vehicle possible.