The summer months are the prime time for parents to purchase vehicles for their teens. Many parents get cars for their teenagers as they graduate, start a summer job, or go off to college. AAA encourages parents to factor safety, affordability and reliability into picking the best vehicle for their teen.

“Choosing the right car for their teenager is a big job for parents,” says AAA Oregon/Idaho Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds. “Making a wise choice can save lives, in addition to preventing money and repair headaches down the line.”

Parents have a lot to think about in selecting the right vehicle: safety concerns, financial constraints, gas mileage, the teen′s preferences and their own emotions. “And parents often have to make car-buying decisions under difficult deadlines such as impending summer jobs or before a child goes off to school,” Dodds says.

AAA′s So Your Teen Wants a Car? A Parent′s Guide to Choosing a Vehicle is a 12-page brochure that provides parents and teens with important details to consider when in the market for a vehicle. AAA emphasizes three categories for parents to consider during the vehicle selection process: safety, affordability and reliability.

Safety – Automobile crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, and teens are more than twice as likely to be involved in a crash as adult licensed drivers. Parents should consider vehicles with the latest safety features that can reduce the risk of a crash and the likelihood of injury should a crash occur. Such features include antilock braking systems (ABS), daytime running lights, electronic stability control (ESC), airbags and adjustable/lockable head restraints.

Affordability – Parents are encouraged to work with their teen to determine the best investment. A new vehicle may exceed the family budget, so a previously-owned model with good safety features might be the best option. Insurance, fuel and maintenance costs should all factor into the decision making process as well.

Reliability – Selecting a vehicle with a warranty, purchasing an extended warranty, checking the vehicle′s maintenance and crash histories, conducting a pre-purchase inspection and avoiding vehicles with excessive mileage are steps parents can take to ensure the purchase of a roadworthy and mechanically sound vehicle for their teen. Parents can purchase a CARFAX Vehicle History Report through

A pdf file of AAA′s So Your Teen Wants a Car? A Parent′s Guide to Choosing a Vehicle brochure is available in the “Buying a Car” section of the Automotive Page at

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