- Electronic Stability Control (ESC) has been mandatory in Canada for all cars manufactured since September 2011. Look for this feature when buying a used vehicle.
- Look for a used vehicle with a good safety rating. Tip: larger vehicles are typically safer and protect better in a crash.
- The cost of car insurance can vary considerably between different makes and models, therefore failing to compare rates before sealing the deal could be costly.
As a new school year approaches, many students will be setting their sights on buying a vehicle to help them navigate their way to campus, as well as visits home if going away to school. But what vehicles are best for students (and parents) who want a vehicle that not only fits the budget but also is safe and reliable?
Best new cars for back-to-school
If it’s a new car you’re looking to buy, the following three 2021 vehicles have ranked well with U.S.-based Kelley Blue Book for affordability, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for protecting the vehicle’s occupants in a crash, and from Consumer Reports (CR) for their overall performance and reliability.
- Toyota Corolla
- Honda Civic
There’s something to be said when three agencies separately agree on what makes a car a good choice.
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Best used cars for back-to-school
While buying a new vehicle is a nice idea, it’s not always realistic. For most young drivers, it’s likely a used vehicle that will end up parked in the driveway. To help you decide which used vehicles are best, IIHS offers the following four tips to help you narrow down your choices:
1. Less is more
Avoid getting a vehicle with a powerful engine and high horsepower to steer clear of the temptation of testing the limits.
2. Bigger is better
Look to bigger, heavier vehicles, which are typically safer and protect better in a crash.
3. Avoid cars built before 2011
Only buy a vehicle with Electronic Stability Control (ESC). ESC helps a driver maintain control of the vehicle on curves, slippery roads, and when the driver needs to swerve or brake suddenly. ESC has been mandatory in Canada for all cars manufactured since September 2011.
4. Buy a car with a good safety rating
Review the safety ratings of the vehicles that have made your short list. You can see how cars compare at the IIHS and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
As for specific vehicles, the IIHS and CR co-created a list of the best used car choices for teens. Here are the top three vehicles in each category:
|Mazda 3 (sedan or hatchback)||2014 or newer|
|Toyota Prius||2014 or newer|
|Hyundai Elantra GT||2018 or newer|
|Subaru Outback||2013 or newer|
|Subaru Legacy||2013 or newer|
|Mazda 6||2014 or newer|
|Mazda CX-5||2014 or newer|
|Subaru Forester||2016 or newer|
|Chevrolet Equinox||2017, 2019|
|Nissan Murano||2015 or newer|
|GMC Terrain||2017, 2019|
Get an A+ for saving on your car insurance
Before buying a new (or used) car for back-to-school, compare car insurance quotes to research which vehicle will save you the most in premiums. The cost of car insurance can vary considerably between different makes and models, therefore failing to compare rates before sealing the deal could be costly.