Pomp and Circum-Sedans; Car Buying for the Graduate

Graduation is just around the corner, and many East Texas parents are looking for a car for their graduating senior. But,  there's much more to consider for teen transportation than just model and color.

When Roger Nunnally looked for a car for his teen age daughter, he had a bit of an advantage. He's the General Sales Manager for Peltier Used Cars in Tyler. But just like every other parent who's gone car shopping, he had a lot to consider, including safety, warranty, reliability, and of course, the cool factor.

"That's one of the key ingredients that a student's going to want. Is this a car that I'm going to look good in. And there still are certain cars that are available in any line that's going to give you that. Now there are other considerations like insurance and things like that parents will obviously want to consider."

Gregg Dahms knows the problem. He's an Insurance Agent with the Smith County Farm Bureau and has teenage kids of his own. When it came time to purchase a car for his son, the first call Greg made was to his insurance agent.

"There can be a lot of difference in rates between the different cars based on age, based on the type of the vehicle, and performance."

For example, to insure an 18 year old male in a brand new Pontiac Firebird Convertible could cost more than $4,000 a year. For the same boy in a 2001 Pontiac Bonneville, it's $1,700 a year cheaper.

In both cases, Dahm says it cost more than twice as much for teens than for adults.  "It's always gong to be expensive. There's a reason why youthful operators cost what they do. They cause more accidents."

So, experts recommend mid-size sedans over sport cars and SUV's. They may not be quite as cool, but, Roger Nunnally believes kids and parents can find common ground on the car lot. "You can still put your student in a good car that will be good for them to go off to college in."

For more information, go to our "Know More on 7" section.