In most cases, a newly-licensed 16-year old’s very first car won’t be anything close to a teen dream, considering parents will usually pass down the 10-year old family wagon to prevent insurance costs from skyrocketing. But CarInsurance.com reveals it doesn’t have to be that way, with it list of 20 best cars for teens.
On average, parents should expect rates to double at the minimum, and in some cases, they can even triple, following the addition of a teenage driver to a family policy. “It’s not the extra car that drives up your rates,” says CarInsurance.com managing editor Des Toups. “It’s the kid.” So before handing over the keys to the family SUV for the new teen driver to share, note that the additional insurance cost of adding one of the cars listed below instead of letting them drive an existing family car could amount to less than $400.
When putting together the list, CarInsurance.com started off with the Insurance Institute Highway Safety’s Top Safety Picks for 2008. Current purchase prices, fuel economy, and reliability were considered to help narrow the list down to 20 vehicles, and models were then ranked based on a hypothetical family’s insurance bill over five years. The insurance quotes for each are based on a Washington state family: a married couple driving a 2011 Honda Accord and a 2009 Chevrolet Traverse, with a clean driving record and good credit. The teen driver is a 16-year-old male, also with a clean driving record. This list, covering a five-year insurance impact, includes 2008 model year vehicles unless noted:
1. Audi A3: $1960
2. Honda Accord (four-door models): $2,040
3. Mercury Sable (with ESC): $2,610
4. Ford Taurus (with ESC): $2,670
5. Subaru Forester (with ESC): $2,750
6. Mercury Milan (2009 models with ESC): $2,790
7. Scion xB: $2,790
8. Nissan Rogue: $2,900
9. Honda Civic (2009 four-door models with ESC): $2,970
10. Ford Fusion (2009 models with ESC): $2,980
11. Hyundai Santa Fe: $3,050
12. Saturn VUE (built after 12/07): $3,180
13. Saab 9-3: $3,350
14. Volkswagen Jetta (2009 models): $3,480
15. Subaru Forester (2009 models): $3,600
16. Volkswagen Rabbit (2009 four-door models): $3,630
17. Mitsubishi Lancer (2009 models with ESC): $3,980
18. Ford Escape (2009 models): $4,120
19. Subaru Legacy (with ESC): $4,320
20. Subaru Impreza (with ESC): $4,360
Cars listed have likely price tags of $15,000 or less, average or better reliability, and gas mileage of 20 mpg or higher, says CarInsurance.com.