2019 Best New and Used Cars for Teens

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Best New Cars for Teens Methodology

The Best New Cars for Teens have the best combination of overall quality, predicted reliability, high safety ratings, and accident avoidance technologies across five price brackets. Some of the more expensive vehicles on this list have the space and features to keep your whole family comfortable and safe, so they’re a wise purchase for adult drivers who only occasionally let their teen borrow the car.

While new vehicles are more expensive than the used ones, they generally have a longer list of safety features such as forward collision alert, lane keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic braking. Plus, technology in some vehicles allows parents to set speed and audio volume restrictions when their teen is behind the wheel, while other systems can send parents updates on their teen’s driving behavior.

Keep in mind, however, that advanced safety features are often bundled in pricey packages in a top trim, so the price you pay may be significantly higher than the base price you’ll see advertised on dealer lots. For this award, a vehicle’s price categorization is based on its cost with all of the accident-avoidance tech important for teen drivers. 

While new cars generally have better safety tech than used cars, they don’t have the reliability track record that used cars do, so you’ll have less insight into the repair and maintenance costs you’ll face as the vehicle ages. A new vehicle also isn’t as budget-friendly as a used one, but the more abundant and more advanced safety technologies in newer cars could help prevent an accident, making a new set of wheels well worth the price premium.

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