A good friend of mine recently replaced her older car with a 2002 Honda Civic. Out of the seven of my friends I was spending time with the other night, three of us have Civics. We’re not alone. CNN Money reports that Honda Civics are the top cars for teenagers. Thinking back to my teenage years, the only car I had to drive was a hand-me-down from my parents, a Subaru. (Shortly after I received my learning permit, my father got rid of his Porsche…)
Are teens actually choosing the Civic or are they receiving the older family car when the parents upgrade? The article doesn’t specify how the teenagers come to own these cars, but it does contain separate lists for used and new cars. I was too busy studying, practicing, and participating in extracurricular activities to bother with a job in high school except for over the breaks. I wasn’t earning much money, so I wasn’t in a position to buy a car. I was just happy to be able to use the stationwagon.
After all, it did fit 10 of my friends for our trips to P.J.’s Pancake House. A Civic would not have been able to accomplish this.
The article notes that parents once thought large SUVs were safe. I think this line of thinking must have been the result of marketing on the auto makers’ behalf; everything I’ve ever read since SUVs became popular were that they were absolutely not safe for inexperienced drivers.
Maybe higher gas prices are causing parents to think more practically about what kind of car is best, explaining the Civic topping the list of new cars. Even still, Ford F-150 made the list of popular new cars for teens at number 7 and the 2000 Ford Explorer comes in at number 5 for used cars.
AskDong has a collection of cars driven by personal finance bloggers.
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Updated February 10, 2011 and originally published June 8, 2007.