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Teen driving – read this first

There are months of the year that mean more than others. To you, March might be the most important month of the year, perhaps because March 10th is your birthday, March 21st is your wedding anniversary, and March 29th is your grandma’s birthday. Yet, for others, March means nothing – no birthday, no anniversary (the marriage never worked out) and grandma celebrated her 91st birthday in November.

But one thing (two things) are for sure – January and August are special months. January is a special month because it marks a new year. New beginnings, positive changes for a new and exciting year, everything ahead of you and nothing left behind. August for kids especially is the same, principally because it is the beginning of a new academic year. Most kids return to school in August, embarking on a new academic adventure, one hopefully that is more positive than the previous year, and for many of these whippersnappers, they’re going to need a car.

Uff, yet another expense. Well, yes, but with a car at least you know Johnny or Jane can get to and from school in a reliable fashion. Yes, you’d like to upgrade your Accord, move from a 4Runner to an X5. We get it, we’d like the same, but costs are costs and if it’s between a new Land Rover and your kid taking 3 buses and walking through those last shady 6 blocks to get to school, think again and do the right thing.

Easier said than done, we know, but that’s why you follow this blog, the advice is unparalleled, and we do the legwork for you! First bit of advice, if your kid is super excited about the car you have thought out for him or her, then it’s likely the wrong car. U.S. News has embarked on a lot of this legwork for us, filtering through a long list of cars and seeking out those with advanced safety features, low lifetime ownership costs, etc., and arrived at a great list of ideal cars for teens.

We know you’re still thinking about price (we are too, a teen is coming down the pipeline!), so we’re ordering this list from the cheapest to the most expensive:

1. Hyundai Accent – Less than $20,000

2. Volkswagen Jetta – $20,000 to $25,000

3. Honda HR-V SUV – $20,000 to $25,000

4. Kia Forte – $25,000 to $30,000

5. Kia Soul SUV – $25,000 to $30,000

6. Toyota Camry – $30,000 to $35,000

7. Hyundai Santa Fe SUV – $30,000 to $35,000

8. Toyota Camry Hybrid – $30,000 to $35,000

9. Toyota RAV4 – $35,000 to $40,000

Interesting, right? And not too shabby on the wallet either. This next list is the best used options for teens:

1. 2016 Buick LaCrosse

2. 2016 Toyota Camry

3. 2015 Chevy Traverse

4. 2016 Toyota Prius

5. 2016 Hyundai Tucson

Now, these will vary in price of course, but none are going to push you to sell the house. Pull the trigger, your teen will eventually thank you (even though they won’t be getting that new Audi).

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