SOURCE: Quality Planning Corp.

June 07, 2007 06:00 ET

Study Shows Honda Civic Tops Lists of Cars Driven by Teenagers

Compact Sedans and Mid-Sized SUVS Are Popular Parental Choices for High-School Kids

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - June 7, 2007) - This week, millions of teenagers are graduating from high school. With the long summer and possibly college lying ahead, parents are contemplating which vehicle makes most sense for their kids to drive. New or used? Large or small? Car or SUV? Before making this critical decision, parents might want to know what other parents are choosing for their kids.

With this in mind, Quality Planning Corporation (QPC), the company that helps auto insurers verify the integrity of their policyholder records, looked at thousands of households to understand what cars, both used and new, are being driven by teenagers aged 16-18 years old.

"We examined households where teenagers are the principal driver of the car that's being insured. In other words, we focused on cars that are being bought for, or 'handed down' to, teenagers," said Ted Harris, manager of research and development at Quality Planning Corp. "We found that the time-honored battle between teenage desires and parental practicality is alive and well. The Honda Civic appears to strike an acceptable balance for both parties."

"Top Ten" lists of vehicles actually driven by teenagers this year

         Used vehicles (average age)       New vehicles
     1     Honda Civic (7)                Honda Civic
     2     Honda Accord (10)              Ford Focus
     3     Toyota Camry (9)               Toyota Corolla
     4     Chevrolet Cavalier (7)         Chevrolet Cavalier
     5     Ford Explorer (7)              Ford Ranger
     6     Toyota Corolla (7)             Honda Accord
     7     Ford Ranger (8)                Ford F150
     8     Pontiac Grand Am (7)           Ford Explorer
     9     Jeep Grand Cherokee (8)        Pontiac Grand Am
    10     Ford Taurus (8)                Pontiac Sunfire
Principal findings of the survey
--  The Honda Civic, a car that Honda actively markets to younger drivers,
    is the favorite in both used and new categories.
--  While the Toyota Camry is ranked third in the used vehicles category,
    it is not even in the list for Top Ten new vehicles. The Honda Accord,
    ranked higher than the Camry as a used vehicle preference, is the sixth-
    most popular new car for teenagers.
--  Sports cars are not among the Top Ten new or used vehicles. Parents
    are likely aware of the risks associated with faster and more aggressive
    vehicles, and also know that sports cars have much higher insurance rates,
    especially for teenagers.
--  Larger SUVs, once considered a 'safe choice' by parents because of
    their size and weight, are no longer popular. This is likely due to their
    gas consumption, as well as an increased awareness that these vehicles are
    not a good option for inexperienced drivers.
--  Average age of used vehicles assigned to teenagers: 9 years.
--  Average price of used vehicles assigned to teenagers: $7,410.
--  Average mileage of used vehicles, based on survey odometer readings:
    9,307.
    
For this nationwide study, QPC analyzed 17,630 policies for which the driver was assigned to one vehicle, and where the driver was a teenager between 16 and 18 years old. Vehicles between one and three years old were considered for the Top Ten New Vehicles study. Newer vehicles are believed to be teenagers' preference.

Sanjiv Mishra, a senior statistical analyst at QPC, and the author of the study, sees this data as offering an accurate picture of the typical household with teenage drivers: "Unlike other studies, which show what vehicles teenagers want to drive, this study shows which vehicles are actually driven by them."

About ISO

ISO is a leading provider of products and services that help measure, manage and reduce risk. ISO provides data, analytics and decision-support solutions to professionals in many fields, including insurance, finance, real estate, health services, government and human resources. Clients use ISO's databases and services to classify and evaluate a variety of risks and detect potential fraud. In the U.S. and around the world, ISO's services help customers protect people, property and financial assets. For more information, visit http://www.iso.com.

About Quality Planning Corporation

A member of the ISO family of companies, Quality Planning Corporation (QPC) is focused exclusively on providing decision integrity solutions to the insurance industry. QPC works with insurance companies to identify areas of significant premium leakage using sophisticated database management, statistical analysis and modeling, customized survey design, and highly targeted customer interaction., QPC, the rating integrity solutions company, was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, visit http://www.qualityplanning.com.

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