Tips for selecting that first car for the kid provided by Dawn Langford of MasterDrive
Selecting the best vehicle for a new driver is an important step. New drivers need a vehicle that is maneuverable, safe, and practical. Here are our recommendations to consider when selecting a vehicle for a new driver:
v Get a midsize sedan with good crash rating –a big SUV is VERY difficult to control
v IF your new driver must drive a large car or SUV .. make certain they know how to handle it and how it feels when there are significant shifts in weight
v Consider the size of the vehicle .. the bigger the car the greater the damage it can cause another car in a crash
It should have :
v Four Doors – ease of access, less “cool”, less “racy”, and it may be less expensive to insure
v ABS brakes – and the new driver should know what they feel like when they’re used
v Traction control systems – do your research, systems are being enhanced all the time.
v Sufficient power for good acceleration – this is a SAFETY consideration, the car needs to respond when they need it to move
Make sure you pay attention to:
v Tires – “where the rubber meets the road” – you get what you pay for, again, do your research, THIS is NOT the place to save money
v Maintenance – the car for a new driver should be in tip top condition with ALL systems working in peak condition
v Handling Performance – the car needs to be responsive AND predictable. All cars will make the first evasive maneuver; it is their behavior after the first move that separates them.
v Navigation – may be a help, BUT will likely be a distraction
v Stereo – You are not going to win this one, just get the controls to be easy to operate,
v Visibility: especially in the rear quarter, they need to be able to SEE when they are checking over their shoulder before changing lanes
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST:
Consider insurance when selecting a vehicle –Talk to your Insurance Agent about their experiences and their recommendations. Remember, they want your family to be protected and your new driver to be safe.