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Consumer reports identifies safe, budget cars for teens

List includes cars for less than $10,000

SAN ANTONIO – Teens are almost three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident than drivers who are older.

Consumer Reports has several safe, used cars to recommend that are relatively inexpensive, all in an effort to help prevent a tragic accident.

Timothy Hollister's son Reid Hollister got his license soon after he turned 16. He died in a car crash 11 months later. Speeding and lack of experience were to blame.

"Parents and teens have to work together and approach the first year of driving with the utmost caution because there is no room for error," Hollister said.

One important thing parents can do is make sure their teen is driving the safest car possible.

"It's really a mistake to buy a very old car for a new teen driver," said Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for Consumer Reports. "It's going to lack some of the very important safety features that might save their lives."

Most important, is electronic stability control, which helps keep drivers from spinning out or rolling over.

Side curtain air bags are also critical. They not only provide a cushion, but they can help keep passengers inside the car during an accident

"We recommend a mid-sized or a large sedan. They're lower to the ground, so it makes them less prone to roll over and they are easier to maneuver than a big SUV," Fisher said.

Consumer Reports has combed through its test results to find good used car options that have the recommended safety features, are reliable and cost under $10,000.

Top 10 cars for teens:

Chevrolet Malibu

Ford Focus

Ford Fusion

Hyundai Sonata

Kia Soul

Mazda3

Mazda6i

Toyota RAV4

Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen Rabbit/Golf


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