To help parents make an informed decision, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released a list of the safest used cars for teens.
Read more: How to check the safety record of a used car
More and more safety features have been required for cars made in the past five to 10 years, and one of the most crucial features is electronic stability control. ESC is a technology that helps drivers maintain control of their vehicle during "extreme steering maneuvers," such as on curves or slippery roads, and helps keep the vehicle headed in the driver's intended direction. The feature has been mandatory since 2012, and all cars on the IIHS list include stability control.
The IIHS says the average budget for a car for a teenager is $9,800, and the median price paid is just $5,300. But the good news is there are some great, affordable options out there!
"We would urge parents to consider paying a little more for safety if they can," says Ann McCartt, the institute's senior vice president for research.
Safest cars for teen drivers
Here's a look at a few of the most affordable picks from the most popular categories.
Volvo S80: 2007 and newer, $5,800
Ford Taurus: 2010 and newer, $10,900
Buick LaCrosse: 2010 and newer, $11,300
Buick Rega: 2011 and newer, $11,500
Lincoln MKS: 2009 and newer, $12,300
Toyota Avalon: 2011 and newer, $15,700
Hyundai Azera: 2012 and newer, $16,800
Read more: 3 ways to monitor your teen behind the wheel
Volkswagen Jetta sedan and wagon: 2009 and newer, $5,600
Volvo C30: 2008 and newer, $7,000
Volkswagen Passat sedan: 2009 and newer, $7,300
Ford Fusion: 2010 and newer; built after April 2010; 2010 Fusions built before May meet "good choice" criteria, $7,400
Mercury Milan: 2010-11; built after April 2010; 2010 Milans built before May meet "good choice" criteria, $7,400
- Honda Element: 2007-11, $6,700
- Volkswagen Tiguan: 2009 and newer, $7,900
- Subaru Forester: 2009 and newer, $9,000
- Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: 2011 and newer, $9,300
- Hyundai Tucson: 2010 and newer, $10,400
To see the full list, click here.