Choosing the right car for a new driver

What happens when it comes time to purchase a vehicle for a new driver? Do you run out to buy the fanciest, most expensive vehicle on the lot? Probably not.

Instead, hopefully, you’ve done research and have already taken into consideration things like the price, your budget and the cost-to-own. Once you get past that, though, it’s time for the fun part – shopping and test driving.

Temptation may lead you down the path of getting something fun, but here’s where practicality is your pal.

For the record, that doesn’t mean boring. It just means making the smart choice of something you can safely and comfortably drive. Here are a few additional things to consider when test driving your first vehicle.
1. Visibility
Blind spots can cause accidents. When you sit in the vehicle, can you easily see in all directions? Does the vehicle offer blind-spot monitoring capability? If you have to crane your head in an awkward fashion to see the vehicle next to you, it is probably not the car for you.
2. Ride height
You may, at first, think this sounds odd, but bear with me for a moment and take into consideration the majority of other vehicles you see on the road around you. Are you surrounded by large trucks and SUVs? Or are they mostly small, commuter cars? Driving a FIAT® 500 amidst a sea of Ram 3500s and Dodge Durangos could be very intimidating for a new driver. You don’t have to buy the biggest vehicle on the lot – just something that makes you well-suited for the driving environment in which you will most commonly travel.

3. Technology

Getting something with all the latest bells and whistles may seem like a great idea at first, but take a step back and ask yourself what you will actually use while in the vehicle. Also, ease-of-use is critical, particularly as a new driver.