It used to make sense to buy your new driver a second-hand car that would absorb all the character-building experiences common to first year drivers at no great cost to the responsible party. It also used to be true that older cars had similar safety system profiles as newer cars.
However, since 2012 all passenger cars (but not all SUVs) have had stability control systems, which means that four-year-old used cars equipped with stability control are now more affordable as first cars. Because the first year of driving carries such a high risk of crashing, and because stability control is so effective a tool for avoiding a crash, we strongly advise selecting a first car that has stability control.
We use cars with stability control in our program. It is important not only to have it, but to know what it does and how to use it. Every driver in our program practices accident avoidance using stability control in our emergency lane change drill.
The brave new world of ever-expanding safety systems is upon us. Here is a list of stability-enhancing systems available on a Volkswagen:
While at first glance one might think that all these things working more or less at once might complicate the process, they in fact make it much simpler and easier for a new driver to get the car stopped and pointed in the right direction. Using these systems is not difficult to learn, but it does require practice and training. We provide that, and the payoff can be incalculable.