Safe Teen Drivers: Safest Used Cars for Teens

By: Oliva Kim Email
By: Oliva Kim Email
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested dozens of used cars under $20,000 to find out which ones were safest for teen drivers.

( Robyn Beck /AFP / Getty Images )

Aug 11. 2014

Parents of teenagers might be looking for a safe car for their teen, especially one that won't break the bank.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested dozens of used cars under $20,000 to find out which ones were safest for teen drivers. They focused on used cars because "typically young drivers are driving used cars or a car that is already owned by the family," says David Zuby, chief research officer at the IIHS.

The best choices according to the IIHS include the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta and the Toyota Camry, 2012 and later.

The list consists of cars with good crash-worthiness, that is protection if a crash occurs, standard electronic stability control, and low horse power engines.

Electronic stability control didn't become standard on all cars until 2012. It helps drivers stay on the road on curves and slippery roads.

IIHS researchers used to steer parent's away from buying their teens SUVs because they had a tendency to roll over. Zuby says, "a common mistake of teen drivers is losing control of the vehicle resulting in a roll over, electronic stability control has basically solved that problem making SUVs as stable or nearly as stable as cars."

Newer models of the Hyundai Tucson and the Toyota Highlander were among the two dozen best choices in the SUV class.

No matter what car parents settle on, the IIHS says besides electronic stability control, look for cars with side airbags and low horsepower.

Click on the link on the side to see the full list of cars recommended by the IIHS.


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