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95 Miata for 16 year olds

A question for the community here. Is a 95 Miata in good condition a reasonable car for a 16 year old? The car is in good condition and has airbags. The car used to be mine. Sold it to my Dad many years ago. He is thinking of getting rid of it and wants to know if my son would buy it from him. It would not be free. My wife has concerns about the safety of the car as compared to another car in the same price range. Say around $5000.

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Others are sure to disagree, but I think it’s a great car for a 16 year old as long as the weather is moderate or better in winter. They’re terrible winter cars.

The '95 Miata handles well, allowing recovery from errors like taking an entry ramp a bit too fast, and lacks sufficient power to get him into serious trouble. He’ll have a ball without likelihood of going outside the car’s driving envelope.

And he’ll get classier girls. Life isn’t ALL about cars. :grin:

Not as safe as a larger car, but I concur w/TSM above, a Miata is a good car for a responsible 16 year old to get started with. For one thing it’s small, makes parking in crowded school parking lots easier. And it has good handling & visibility too. If the 16 year old has proved to be responsible in the past, then yes.

You might want to check on the insurance cost. Two passenger sports cars usually have a high cost.


I think it’s a terrible car for a 16 year old. Small, easy to crush, and encourages fast driving. I think a boring 4 door with a 4 cylinder is much better.

Driving as a 16 year old male is about the riskiest thing he’ll do in his life. Why make it riskier?


Mr. Texases is not being negative and makes a valid point. The accident rate for new teenage drivers is very high. As my insurance friend says ( it is not if a new driver has an accident but when will he have it ).

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Here’s a good site for safety ratings for cars:

My observation re teenage drivers has long been that they often tend to drive to suit the image of their car. And while Miatas are great little cars they seem to beg to be wound up through the gears. But you know your kids and I don’t.

I agree with you on many points . . .

But that “classier girls” needs to be further classified

Such as . . . exactly what do YOU consider classier girls? Our definitions may very well differ :smile:

And . . . the condition of the Miata might play a role, as to what kind of girls are attracted to the 16 year old boy

In my neck of the woods, there are plenty of rich kids driving new sports cars, luxury cars, expensive suvs, etc. that their parents paid for. So a 22 year old Miata may or not be a “selling point”

It’s a joke, written “tung-in-cheek”. Don’t beat it to death.

Again . . . and this isn’t addressed solely to you, mountainbike

It’s often impossible to determine if one of us is serious, or is in fact joking

Face to face would be a different story, but that isn’t the case here

I would have though that one would be obvious to everybody.
I guess I was wrong.

Enough already. you’ve made your point

Please respect my wishes on this. You felt it was obvious you were joking. I disagreed with that, and now let’s just forget it.

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Fair enough.

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A sports car for a novice 16 year old driver will incur a hefty insurance bill. Unless you can put the car in your name and “add” your son as an occasional driver, it may not be worthwhile.

My choice would be a Hyundai Accent or similar econobox; cheap, and easy to write off in an accident.

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Don’t register it in the teen’s name, whatever you buy. Insurance will be astronomical. Register the car in your name(s) and make him the primary driver. Call your insurer with the Miata VIN and ask for an insurance quote. He can pay you back for the insurance.

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You footing the repair bills? Because it’s a 22 year old car that, being a sports car, has probably been beaten on. It’s gonna break, and it’s probably gonna do it a lot. I wouldn’t have been able to afford that at 16. Can your kid?

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Normally that might be true, but it sounds like this one has been in the family for a long time, probably since new, and always driven by adults. In this case it’s history is well known.

Hey, I’m an adult (chronologically, anyway), and I beat the stuffing out of my MR2. Especially on-track. :wink:


Here, here, @shadowfax. Beat on!

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