Parents in the market for a safe car for their teenager to drive should take a look at the new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recommended list.
While it somewhat obviously notes that parents should avoid high-speed options, the list has useful points about safety and divides potential vehicles by price point.
The IIHS compiled the list following a survey of 500 parents, 83 percent of which purchased a used car for their teen instead of a new one, the Los Angeles Times reported. Parents spend around $9,800 on average for a car for a teen; however, the median is at about $5,300.
While looking for a used car, consumers should make sure the vehicle has been repaired if it was included in a recall.
"There are something like 36 million cars out there that have a pending recall," Rosemary Shahan, president of Consumers for Auto Safety and Reliability, told the L.A. Times.
Starting at $7,300 for the "best choices" and $4,000 for "good choices," the cars included on the IIHS list all have electronic stability control and good protection in the event of a crash.
The institute didn't put any small vehicles on the list, citing their lack of crash protection. According to IIHS data, almost a third of fatally injured drivers ages 15 to 17 from 2008 through 2012 were in small or subcompact cars.
So what should parents look for when buying a car for a teen driver?
Vehicles that have strong safety ratings from the IIHS and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Bigger cars that can shield occupants during collisions.
Options with good crash protection and electronic stability control--even if they cost more.
"Unfortunately, it's very difficult to get a safe vehicle for a teenager at the prices most people are paying," said Anne McCartt, IIHS senior vice president for research. "Our advice to parents would be to remember the risks teens take and consider paying a little more."
The full list of recommended models from IIHS is available here.