Caps, gowns and carsAutomotive expert provides important tips for choosing the best vehicle for graduates
MANATEE ― During the height of the graduation season, many parents and graduates are looking to celebrate the end of their high school or college milestone by purchasing a new car.
However, how does one pick the perfect car for a recent graduate?
When it comes to purchasing the perfect car for a graduate, safety and reliability are key, experts say. Whether you buy a brand-new car or a used model, it should come with advanced safety features like front and side air bags, antilock brakes, head restraints, and electronic stability control.
Robert Elder, family man and chief executive officer of local family owned and operated business, Elder Automotive Group, offers his expertise to help families and graduates choose the perfect car:
-- Size matters – Does your teen or young adult have far to travel or will they have a lot of extra cargo? A mid-size sedan, such as the Ford Fusion, is the perfect balance of safety and maneuverability for teen or college graduate drivers.
-- Slow and steady wins the race – V6 or V4 engine? Though V6 engines provide more power, they can also encourage young adults to drive faster. A four-cylinder engine has limited acceleration capabilities, which makes it less likely young adults will push the vehicle to speed.
-- New or old – New cars are more likely to offer advanced crash-avoidance features beneficial for teen drivers, while older cars may be more affordable. Ford's MyKey allows parents to program a key to limit the vehicle's top speed and audio volume. This feature also encourages seatbelt use and provides earlier low-fuel warnings. If you purchase a used car, be sure all the safety features are up-to-date.
-- Reduce distraction – Distraction is a big problem for teen drivers with texting while driving being one of the most common and dangerous diversions. Ford's MyKey Telematics systems promote safer teen driving by giving parents the ability to block incoming texts when the teen's vehicle is in motion. If you purchase a used vehicle, check out apps such as Text Arrest, which disables texting on smart phones.