This post is brought to you in partnership with Toyota, but all opinions are my own.
I can’t believe I’m writing this post and I have started the journey to guide my son towards getting his license! In this post, I will share all the information I’ve gathered and what you should know before your teen starts driving.
What You Should Know Before Your Teen Starts Driving
Check your State requirements
For example, I’ve learned that in NJ Special Learner’s Permit or Examination Permit can be obtained at age 16.
That is the age requirements when the teen may apply for a special learner’s permit in the state of New Jersey.
The driver and the parent or guardian need to visit the local Motor Vehicle Commission office and bring required identification documents and proof of enrollment in a driver training course.
Teens age 17 may apply for an examination permit without proof of enrollment in a driver training course. You must pass the written driver’s knowledge test and a vision test to receive a special learner’s permit or examination permit.
Upon completion of a driver training course and with a special learner’s permit, the teen may begin practice driving only if he/she are accompanied in the front seat by a driver age 21 or older who has been licensed in New Jersey for at least 3 years.
Teens with an examination permit may begin practicing driving without completing a driver training course. While practicing driving, they are required to display the GDL decal in the vehicle.
They may not drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. (some exemptions granted). No more than one passenger, other than the parents, guardians and dependents, is allowed (in addition to the supervising driver). All the passengers are required to wear seat belts.
At age 17, if the teen has held a special learner’s permit and been eligible for practice driving for at least 6 months without a suspension or postponement, you may apply for the probationary license.
Examination permit holders may apply at age 18. To obtain the probationary license, teens must visit the Motor Vehicle Commission office and bring required identification documents.
Once the teen passes a road test, a probationary license will be issued.
A probationary licensee may drive unsupervised, but you must follow certain restrictions.
The teen may not drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. (some exceptions granted). Unless you are accompanied by a supervising parent or guardian, no more than one additional passenger (including siblings) is allowed besides your parents, guardians, and dependents. Probationary drivers are banned from using any kind of wireless communication device while driving, including all handheld and hands-free cell phones and text messaging devices.
You are required to display the GDL decal in the vehicle. You and all your passengers are required to wear seat belts.
Teens that have held a probationary license for one year without any suspensions or postponements and are at least 18 may apply for a full driver license. You must visit your local Motor Vehicle Commission office and bring your probationary license and the required identification documents.
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission is in charge of monitoring licensing for all drivers in the state. The MVC:
- Conducts the written exam and road test for your learner’s license and intermediate license.
- Provides study materials to help you get ready for the exams.
- Keeps track of your license status and can suspend your license
So you’re asking what now?
Here are a few steps we’ll be taking to ensure our son a smooth and safe transition into his driving experience:
First Steps Towards Getting A Drivers License
Find the Best Driving Training Course
I’ve looked online for reviews, location and vehicles used by the schools. Male drivers, fairly new vehicles and at least 10 positive reviews were on my basic checklist.
Discuss Your Expectations With Your Teen
I love the AAA Parent Teen Driving Agreement, much more in sync with something my son would agree to, than my original expectations!
Check it out HERE.
Start Shopping For The Right Vehicle
My son is far from being ready to get his own vehicle, but I believe the idea of shopping for a vehicle would motivate him through the whole process.
We talked about his dream car, he’s not quite sure!
Being 6’7″ limits his options on what kind of vehicle does fit him comfortably, though.
I must confess I started the search by looking at old but cool vehicles. “Something we could afford”.
But after coming back from the 2020 Toyota Corolla launch, I’m going to admit, I’ve changed my mind about getting an old vehicle, because safety should be our priority.
Here are a few reasons why the 2020 Toyota Corolla is a great first vehicle choice:
Bold Look And Design Transformation
- The Corolla sedan’s bold new look is a perfect reflection of the bumper-to-bumper, wheels-to-roof transformation that has taken place.
- From every angle, the new Corolla sedan looks lower and leaner, tauter and tighter.
- Powerful fender flares and generously curved fender top surfaces accent its sculpted, bold core.
The design team called its working concept “shooting robust,” because they were shooting for a robust, confidence-inspiring stance. Yet, they had to maintain ample space for practical, real-world use. That’s why people buy sedans, after all.
I knew that my son would start his driving journey with us in the car, so this made the perfect combination of “cool” and yet, comfortable for us.
The cockpit provides an engaging interior space that surrounds the driver while offering a spacious environment for all passengers.
High-gloss materials are paired with matte elements – silver accents with piano black and available contrasting stitching – to accentuate a premium look and feel.
Perfect For Our Tech Lover
The Corolla sedan comes standard with a 4.2-inch thin film transistor (TFT) Multi-Information Display (MID) that is located between the high-grade tachometer and speedometer, there is also an available 7-inch MID.
With the larger display, the driver can switch between analog and digital speedometer styles.
Comfortable Ride For Taller Drivers
From behind the wheel, the 2020 Corolla sedan feels quite different than its predecessor.
Positioning the driver’s hip point 0.91-in. lower and 1.57-in. back.
Further rearward yields an optimized driving position.
The result not only improves comfort, but also helps to lower the vehicle’s center of gravity and improves front/rear weight distribution.
These changes, along with the reconfigured lower belt line, slimmer instrument panel, slimmer A-pillars, and re-positioned side view mirrors, result in more expansive outward visibility, just what my son needed!
Lots of Room, Not Noise
The Corolla sedan may break tradition in the styling department, but it keeps to Toyota tradition when it comes to passenger room and comfort. The rear seat area retains excellent headroom, despite the lower roof-line. Legroom is also plentiful, fulfilling a basic mission of sedans.
What you don’t get in the 2020 Corolla sedan is noise.
Power-train and road noise have been culled thanks to revised drive-train efficiencies, plus the widespread implementation of sound-absorbing materials, including Thinsulate®, sealants, foams, and silencers, perfect for my son’s love for music, that he can enjoy while driving without outdoor noise disturbance, which would not happen if he had an old vehicle!
As I was driving it in Savanna last week, I could picture him, turning Pandora on and jamming along with his favorite beats while he drives to school!
The 2020 Corolla sedan comes ready to pair with the driver’s digital life. The standard audio multimedia system includes:
- An available 8-in. touch-screen display.
- Six speakers; Apple CarPlay®, Amazon Alexa, and Scout GPS Link compatibility.
- Customizable home screen settings along with connected services such as Safety Connect and Wi-Fi Connect Powered by Verizon.
When I checked the sound out, I could already hear him ask for the upgrade on the sound as well!
The LE, LE Hybrid, SE, XLE and XSE grades get the 8-inch touch screen and 2 USB ports standard.
Audio Plus – standard on XSE, XLE and optional on SE CVT, adds SiriusXM Radio, Service Connect, and Remote Connect.
Topping the range is Premium Audio, which is optional on XSE and XLE. The package includes a JBL nine-speaker, 800-watt system with Clari-Fi; Dynamic Voice Recognition; Dynamic Navigation; Dynamic Points of Interest Search; and Destination Assist Connect.
The JBL Audio system is also available on the SE CVT. JBL Audio system highlights include:
- Next-Generation HID8 amplifier creates 800-watts of total power
- Free-standing horn tweeters located in the A-pillar at ear level for optimal high-frequencyperformance
- 10-in. dual coil subwoofer in rear deck provides powerful deep-bass response
- Sealed inner door panels promote cleaner, more powerful sound
- Midrange speakers in all four doors provide full-range sound for all passengers
- Clari-Fi software analyzes and rebuilds all audio to restore audio quality lost during digital compression
It’s a dream car for first time drivers, isn’t it?
But the part which surprised me more was the Safety, as I’ve mentioned before, why sacrifice when it comes to your child’s life or your first car?
The 2020 Corolla sedan features eight standard airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology.
All Corolla sedan models come equipped with a standard backup camera.
Significantly, all 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan models are equipped standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, an advanced suite of integrated active and pre-collision safety features.
I also love that I can use the Remote Connect App and set driving parameters, I can check his driving habits and even turn the vehicle off remotely.
Love having the ability to monitor him in this early stage!
I had a chance to drive the 2020 Corolla Hybrid and its acceleration response took me by surprise.
When pulling away, the battery provides a subtle power boost in order to put less strain on the engine and eliminate the“rubber band” effect experienced with some hybrids.
My son loves blue, so the new Celestite color would be perfect!
These are just a few features, that in my opinion, makes the 2020 Toyota Corolla the perfect & super trendy first car choice!
As I was driving, I could basically see his smile and read his unspoken teen gratitude, acknowledging this is a cool car!
I hope my tips help you to navigate the uncharted waters of having your first teen start driving!
I will be sharing more as our journey unfolds!
If you’re wondering when the 2020 Toyota Corolla will go on sale…
The 2020 Toyota Corolla will go on sale in March 2019.
You can get more information at your local dealer or at Toyota.
Can’t wait to hear what you think about my tips, findings and the awesome all new 2020 Toyota Corolla!
As usual, give us a Trendy Shout! z