It’s a glass half-empty or half-full situation for parents when it comes to buying a teen their first car. Data compiled by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute suggests teens just aren’t that interested in cars or rather even driving these days. Eight in 10 Americans ages 17-19 had a driver’s license 30 years ago, but just six out of every 10 teens were behind the wheel in 2012. While having a teen at home without a license keeps the family’s insurance premiums low and may prevent sleepless nights worrying about an inexperienced driver getting into accidents, the situation tends to leave Mom and Dad in the role of permanent chauffeurs. Whether you’re the parent of a reluctant driver or a teen who’s chomping at the bit to get his or her license, it can be challenging to find an affordable used car that’s safe, reliable and economical and won’t bust the family budget with sky-high insurance rates. While the kid may want to own a beater Mustang GT, a clanky open-top Jeep Wrangler, or an old repair-prone BMW, most of us with young drivers living at home would prefer he or she settle for a more rational choice.
Arrow ahead below to the next page to view the best cars for teens!