Car shopping is rarely easy, but it’s even harder when you’re trying to find that perfect used car for your young driver. Most parents naturally want safe used cars that won’t be difficult to drive, but they also don’t want to spend too much on their child’s first car. Add in the current supply chain shortages and low inventories, and finding that car just got even harder.
What Are Some Good Safe Used Cars For New Drivers?
Consumer Reports recently released a list of good used cars for teen drivers with a price range between $6,000 to $20,000. Most notably, the list leaves off three specific types of vehicles–sports cars, large SUVs, and subcompact cars. All three have certain safety concerns that make them poor choices for new drivers. What’s left is a sizable list of the best choices and then a runner-up list of good choices. All vehicles in both categories meet the following requirements:
-Average or better score in an emergency handling test
-Four or five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
-Good rating in the IIHS crash tests
-Dry braking distance is less than 145 feet from 60 MPH
Let’s take a look at some of the cars mentioned.
Best Choices For Safe Used Cars
For small cars, the most expensive vehicles on the list are the 2018 or newer Subaru Crosstrek and the 2019 or new Honda Insight. At the lower price end of the list are the 2014-2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid and the 2014 or newer Mazda 3 sedan or hatchback. Small used cars offer the benefit of good fuel economy and they reduce the number of passengers a new driver can have.
For midsize cars, some midrange price choices include the 2015 and 2017 VW Passat, the 2014-2019 Mazda 6, and the 2015 or newer Lincoln MKZ. Midsize cars offer a bit more stability and weight than smaller cars. Large cars take that even further, and the 2015 or newer Toyota Avalon and 2016 Hyundai Genesis can be had for under $20,000.
There are surprisingly quite a few choices in the small and midsize SUV category for under $20,000. Some examples include the very reliable and safe 2015 or newer Honda CR-V, the sturdy 2017 GMC Terrain, and the 2017-2019 Hyundai Santa Fe. In the midsize SUV category, some of the models are still quite large, so you might want to be discerning about what you pick here.
In the list of good choices, the most inexpensive models are in the small car category with choices such as the 2012-2015 and 2019 or newer Honda Civic sedan, or the 2014 or newer Toyota Corolla sedan. Both of these models are known for being reliable and safe. In the midsize and large classes, you have several to choose from like the 2012 or newer Toyota Camry for under $10,000, the 2016 VW Jetta for right around $10,000, or the very inexpensive 2011 Ford Taurus for $6,300.
The only SUV mentioned in this second list is the 2014-2020 Nissan Rogue for $11,000. The Rogue is considered a small SUV, but it has good handling and is more of the crossover type of SUV than a traditional one.
As you can see, there are many options for safe used cars that won’t break the bank. On newer models, it’s a good idea to check for driver-assistance tech as this can be very helpful for new drivers.
This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.