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The first car Jay Leno bought cost him $350—here’s his No. 1 rule for first-time car buyers

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Car connoisseur Jay Leno bought his first car at age 14. It cost him $350, which he paid with savings from his summer jobs.

CNBC Make It. “I learned how to fix it and make it run.”

That was in the 1960s. Today, the host of “Jay Leno’s Garage” has some different advice for first-time car buyers: Whether you’re buying your first car or shopping for your kid, get a model that dates from at least 2005.

If you’re tempted to buy an antique car, check yourself, says Leno: “Accidents you walk away from in a modern car would kill you in an antique car. If you are buying a car for a teenager, don’t get them an antique car. Get them something from 2005 forward, because at least they’ll have airbags and seatbelts and all that kind of stuff.

“Old cars are truly dangerous conveyances.”

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