| Discounts & Savings New Drivers

Paying top-dollar for a new car that’s jam-packed with the most innovative safety features isn’t a reality for most people, especially parents looking for their teen’s first car. With this in mind, the Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) has compiled a list of affordable used cars that meet their important safety criteria, especially when it comes to teens.

LARGE CARS MODEL YEARS PRICE
Acura RL 2005 and later $9,700
Mercury Sable 2009 $9,700
MIDSIZE CARS MODEL YEARS PRICE
Subaru Legacy 2009 $9,900
BMW 3-series sedan 2006 and later $9,300
SMALL SUVs MODEL YEARS PRICE
Nissan Rogue 2008 and later $9,800
Ford Escape 2009 and later $8,700
MIDSIZE SUVs MODEL YEARS PRICE
Mazda CX-9 2007 and later $9,800
Ford Edge 2007-10 $9,600
MINIVANS MODEL YEARS PRICE
Volkswagen Routan 2009-11 $8,600
Dodge Grand Caravan 2008-11 $8,200

 10 of the Safest Used Vehicles starting under $10,000

The Institute’s guidelines were guided by four principles; vehicles had to:

  • Have low horsepower.  Powerful engines tempt teens to test the speed limit.
  • Be relatively big and heavy. Bigger, heavier cars are typically safer and better protect occupants in the event of a crash. Plus, teen drivers are less likely to crash them in the first place says the Highway Loss Data Institute.
  • Include electronic stability control (ESC). This feature helps a driver maintain control on curvy, slippery roads.
  • Have the best safety ratings possible, meaning that at a minimum, the vehicle had to have good ratings in the IIHS moderate overlap front test (a test that replicates the impact of a front-end collision with another car or a tree or pole), acceptable ratings in the IIHS side crash test, and four to five starts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Vehicles in the list below have good or acceptable side crash protection and head restraints. They also have standard ESC. Here is the Institute’s recommended list of used vehicles for teens starting under $10,000.*

*Prices rounded to the nearest $100 and were taken from Kelley Blue Book on July 1, 2014 for the most basic vehicle model and earliest applicable model year. For more details, see the full report.

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