Back to School: Make Sure Your Kids Drive the Right Car!

You see a minivan. Teens see a bedroom.

You see a minivan. Teens see a bedroom.

Ahh… the annual rituals of September. Leaves start turning colors, the morning air smells of the coming crisp autumn, and teenagers drag race each other on the way to school.

Beautiful, isn’t it?

Parents, I have advice you must heed. Letting your kids drive to school is risky enough, but send them in the wrong car, and you risk much more than increased insurance rates.

First of all, I’m pretty sure teens have a scientifically proven miswiring in their brains. To them, 60 miles per hour feels like 30, and they must achieve that speed as quickly as possible in order to impress the other teens who are riding with them. As parents, all we can do is make sure they are driving vehicles that don’t actually reach 60. Any early ’90s Subaru Legacy will do nicely.

It’s also very important that teens continue to live. Even if they believe their lives are over if no one responds to their Facebook status within 3 seconds, it’s our job as parents to make sure the teens of today turn into adults with the teens of tomorrow, mostly just so we can have a good laugh.

Regardless, in an effort to protect the lives of teens, make sure they don’t drive to school in a Jeep Wrangler that is missing doors and a roof, two imperative parts of a car that function to, you know, keep people inside of it.

Now, you might be thinking a minivan would be a perfect option. It has doors, a roof, and won’t hit 60 too quickly. But a minivan is a terrible idea, because teens are smart. While many of your teen’s peers might at first make fun of the van, your enterprising teen will soon realize he’s not driving a minivan at all. He’s driving a private bedroom on wheels. Enough said.

honda_accord_crosstourIt’s also important to consider your teen’s psychological well being when deciding what car he or she drives to school. It needs to be cool enough to gain respect of friends, but boring enough that those friends don’t want to be seen in it. (You don’t want a minivan-load of hungry teens showing up and tearing through your just-unloaded Costco groceries.)  The new, utilitarian but butt-ugly Honda Accord Crosstour is a good example.

Finally, in an effort to give teens the thrill of sitting behind the wheel while removing the risk of actually going anywhere, consider buying this, the perfect car that will guarantee an autumn full of bus rides:


What’s the perfect car for a teenager?



  1. How about this: not buying a car and instead relying on ZipCar or something similar if the kid has to get around. All of the college campuses I have visited are safe-contained and usually offer some form of public transportation. College campuses within cities also usually have public transportation and dorms or rentals are not usually too far away.


    Volvo 240
    Toyota Camry 4 Cyl.
    Nissan Stanza/Altima

    It’s to bad that there aren’t more safe and reliable 2 seaters out there.

  3. The perfect car for a teenager is a Mercedes 240d diesel 4 speed. Slower than molasses and safe for when they finally get it up to speed. Economical, easy to repair, cheap to purchase.

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