You don't have to spend a fortune on a vehicle that will protect the young driver in your family.
What price do you place on the safety of your children?
Parents get to drive the latest and greatest cars while teen drivers usually get the hand-me-downs or what they can afford - older vehicles with little or no safety gear to protect them in a crash.
Here's a further chilling thought: the Australasian New Car Assessment Program warns that in a crash in an older vehicle with three safety stars or fewer, occupants have twice the chance of being killed or seriously injured.
Teenagers or P-platers are over-represented among fatal accidents on our roads. The graph is a grim red line that seemingly refuses to turn downward.
The good news is that it's not necessary to spend a fortune to buy a "safe" car.
Some types of car also appear too often in road fatalities, such as utes and one-tonners that are harder to control and often do not have the same safety kit as passenger car counterparts.
It's not just the price of old cars that make them attractive to teenagers either. Cars that might be dismissed as old bombs may be viewed as "cool" by younger drivers.
The good news is that it's not necessary to spend a fortune to buy a "safe" car, as some of the earliest five-star cars are now almost 15 years old.
No matter what car you choose, have it checked both for mechanical defects and accident repairs. Cheap repairs can compromise the original safety rating, particularly if it has been in an accident where the airbags were deployed.
Check whether your state motoring club does mobile, pre-purchase inspections or take the car to a service centre for an even more comprehensive check.
Look for vehicles with at least two airbags, anti-lock brakes and preferably electronic stability control, which has been shown to prevent single vehicle accidents where the driver skids and loses control. This became mandatory in 2008.
A rear-view camera is desirable, to avoid running over children in driveways.