Is a Tesla a good first car?

My dad told my oldest daughter that if she made all A’s until she was 16, he would buy her a car for her birthday. She has her heart set on a Tesla, and grandpa is ready to roll…but I’m not so sure. Is a Tesla suitable for a teen to be driving?

Macy Fouse · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
We get it—Teslas are the most popular electronic vehicles on the road thanks to their high-tech interiors and chic styles. It doesn’t hurt that they also eliminate the need for gas stations and
oil changes
! Even so, a Tesla does not make a good first car. Here are a few reasons why:
  • Expensive car insurance. As a luxury, high-tech make,
    Tesla car insurance
    is not on the cheap side. Add that to the already-pricey
    car insurance for young drivers
    and you may be paying more than you bargained for—even with the lower maintenance and gas expenses.
  • Unbridled power. One of Teslas’ biggest strengths becomes its biggest weakness when a first-time driver is behind the wheel. With a minimum horsepower of 271, these machines are way too powerful for a teen to be handling on the daily.
  • Charging responsibility. Teslas may save on gas costs, but setting up an at-home charger, keeping an eye on range, or finding a public charger can be a headache—especially for a teen on the go.
  • Safe driving risk. From mirror adjustments to radio volume, every setting on a Tesla is contained on the center touchscreen. This is convenient for some drivers, but it could be a huge distraction for teens still getting used to driving.
If you have your heart set on a fully-electric set of wheels, options like the
Chevrolet Bolt
or the
Nissan Leaf
may be better for teens—especially when it comes to
affordable car insurance
. If you’re open to hybrid vehicles, a
Hyundai Ioniq
Toyota Prius
are excellent choices, too.
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Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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