Hooked you on the title, right? Everyone with a teenager of driving age who wants a car to zip around with friends, to and from school and various activities is interested in the subject of best teen cars for cheap insurance rates.
Hey, it’s a tough topic in many households. I mean, kid wants to drive, parents are tired of toting them around at inconvenient hours (anytime becomes inconvenient after a while), but budgeting is tight these days and money isn’t getting any easier to come by. Then, there’s the whole issue of sky-high rates and risk pools and all that for teen drivers. Seems like the deck is stacked against parents and teens, doesn’t it? Well, there are some cars that are generally cheaper to insure for teen drivers – given the fact that the teen has a good driving record and a few other factors.
We’re not going to get into all those factors in depth here, except to note that driving record (at least three years in order to get a “good driver” discount), age, gender, location, type of vehicle, and amount of coverage all play a role in the amount of premium for the teen driver’s car. Keep in mind that new or newer cars have more standard safety equipment than some older models – and you want all the safety features you can get in a car for your teen: anti-lock brakes, extra airbags, electronic stability control, and traction control. Also look for models that scored better than average on government crash tests.
And now, the list
While there are certainly other cars that may offer reasonable (cheap relative to other cars) insurance rates for teen drivers, here are six that stand out. Maybe you drove one when you were a teen. At any rate, check them out. Your teen may thank you for it. And the family dinner table will be a lot less contentious.
1. Ford Fusion - The mid-size Ford Fusion four-door sedan is mostly unchanged for 2011. Eye-catching style, available all-wheel drive, nice interior, great fuel economy (23 mpg city/33 mpg highway in base four-cylinder with six-speed automatic), and unique Ford SYNC system appeal to parents and teens.
Safety features, standard or optional abound, including six standard airbags, electronic stability control (ESC), traction control, and integrated blind spot mirrors, optional lane departure warning, and optional MyKey (which limits top speed to 80 mph, radio volume to 45 percent, and continuously chimes when seat belts are not fastened). Whether you buy this car for your teen or allow him or her to drive the family Fusion, it’s a great choice for less expensive insurance rates. Fusion is also a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
2011 Ford Fiesta sedan
4. Honda Fit – Kelley Blue Book named the Honda Fit one of its “10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000.” It’s easy to see why. Fit is versatile, fun to drive, and very fuel efficient (28 mpg city/35 mpg highway with four-cylinder engine and five-speed automatic transmission). Fit for 2010 also achieves a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in frontal crash testing, has six standard airbags and stability and traction control (Fit Sport with navigation).
Note: It would be remiss not to mention other cars besides the Honda Fit that KBB designated as “10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000.” These include the Honda Civic, Nissan Cube, Scion xB, Kia Soul, and Ford Fiesta.
Bottom line: Check with your insurance provider regarding the best insurance rates for your teen driver. Be sure to inquire about premium differences between one vehicle and another. And stress the importance of maintaining a good driving record and getting good grades in school – both of which will have a significant impact on how much insurance will cost for them to drive.