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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  Airbags

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


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.