These Are the Worst Cars For Teen Drivers

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Image: Honda

Anything other than a lightly-used sedan or small CUV made between 2010 and now.

No “specialty” vehicles. No sports cars, sport compacts, off-road-focused SUVs. They will wreck it. “But I taught them how to—” Nope, stop right there. They will wreck it. Listen to my words. It’s not a question of if, nor a judgement on your teaching abilities. The more capable the vehicle, the more your child will test its limits. If it can go fast, they will go fast someplace where they should never, ever go fast, like an Arby’s drive-thru. If they can go off-roading with it, they will go off-roading where they should never, ever go off-roading. Like an Arby’s drive-thru.

“Buy an old crappy car so they can learn to take care of it/so I can save money on it”. No. This is a terrible idea. There have been so many advances in vehicle safety and technology in the last 15 years, and buying anything older than that is putting your teenager at an unnecessary risk. You want the extra airbags, the stability control, the backup cameras and the crumple zones and the steering wheel buttons. Don’t worry about your child being a good driver, worry about them being a safe driver. You need to keep them protected while they learn to negotiate all of the other terrible drivers, unwritten rules, and quirks of driving in the real world. These days, a bad infotainment system is more likely to cause an accident than anything (don’t buy your kid a Ford with 1st-gen Sync).

Also, having a crappy old car as a teenager sucks. All it teaches them is to hate driving and cars. It doesn’t build character, it builds resentment. If you want to teach your kid to wrench, show them on your crappy old car. You can teach oil changes, brake pads, and tire rotation just as easily on a three-year-old Civic as you can on a 20-year-old Dodge Intrepid.

Submitted by: dbeach84 and others.


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